The Schmooze

'I’d gladly turn into a bird, to breathe the free air'

In Italy today, resistance against official anti-Semitism and Fascism has become an unexpectedly current topic. A counterweight is provided by current interest in Holocaust memorials and by an anthology which appeared on January 11 from Einaudi Editore, “Jews Under Persecution in Italy: Diaries and Letters from 1938 to 1945 (Gli ebrei sotto la persecuzione in Italia. Diari e lettere 1938-1945).

It was assembled and annotated by two historian/journalists, Mario Avagliano and Marco Palmieri, who in 2009 produced an anthology, also for Einaudi Editore, “Italian Prisoners of War: Diaries and Letters from Nazi lagers, 1943-1945” (Gli internati militari italiani. Diari e lettere dai lager nazisti 1943-1945) about Italy’s hitherto-forgotten soldiers who refused to take orders from the German military. “Jews Under Persecution in Italy” comprises letters and diary entries, many previously unpublished, to constitute what historian Michele Sarfatti terms, in a preface, a “choral history.”

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'I’d gladly turn into a bird, to breathe the free air'

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