Jews Backpedal on Honors for 'Italian Schindler'

Giovanni Palatucci May Have Been Nazi Collaborator

Righteous? Italian official attends ceremony honoring Giovanni Palatucci at Yad Vashem. New reports cast doubt on his status as a rescuer of Jews.
getty images
Righteous? Italian official attends ceremony honoring Giovanni Palatucci at Yad Vashem. New reports cast doubt on his status as a rescuer of Jews.

By JTA

Published June 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Research showing that Giovanni Palatucci, the “Italian Schindler,” was a Nazi collaborator rather than a hero has spurred several Jewish groups to remove honors in his name.

Historians at the Centro Primo Levi at the Center for Jewish History in New York confirmed last week that Palatucci, an Italian police chief credited with saving thousands of Jewish lives in the northern Italy town of Fiume, was a Nazi collaborator.

Giovanni Palatucci
wikipedia
Giovanni Palatucci

In response, the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington removed the case study exhibit on its website and plans to remove any mention of Palatucci’s name from its physical exhibition.

The Anti-Defamation League in a news release said it revoked the Giovanni Palatucci Courageous Leadership Award that the organization has granted since 2007 to Italian and American law officials with exemplary leadership service. The ADL said it plans to bestow the same honor in a different name.

The ADL also voided its 2005 Courage to Care Award given to Palatucci.

The Yad Vashem Holocaust center in Jerusalem said it would examine the research and reconsider the Righteous Among the Nations status it awarded to Palatucci in 1990 for his supposed rescue of Jews. The Vatican also is looking into the matter.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • French Jews were stunned when an anti-Israel mob besieged a synagogue outside Paris. What happened next could be a historic turning point.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.