Italian Jews Under Fascism, 1938–1945: A Personal and Historical Narrative is both a family and a political history. This painstakingly researched book recounts the travails of Italy’s Jewish community during the period of Fascist persecution that began in 1938 and increased dramatically after the German takeover in 1943. With superb documentation, from a wealth of original sources, Tedeschi tells a compelling and often heartbreaking story of individuals who were caught in the sweeping tide of Fascism, placing them in the context of the traumatic events that were playing out on the world stage.
Adriano Prosperi, Professor Emeritus, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, writes, “With the racist laws of 1938 and the anti-Semitic persecution unleashed alongside that of Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Fascist regime sundered in two Italian history and culture by attacking one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, older even than Christianity itself. Now John Tedeschi, after a lifetime of research and writing dedicated to the history of intolerance and religious persecution in the Europe of the Renaissance and the Reformation, recounts the entire story of that betrayal of which he himself and his family were victims. He has written a book where the sentiments of memory are filtered through the historian’s scholarly rigor and the only vendetta consists of a thoroughly scrupulous attempt to reconstruct the truth of the historical record.”