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Italy

  • Revival of Extreme Right-wing Group Conjures Fears of Neo-fascism in Italy

    The announcement by an extreme right-wing leader here that he will revive his illegal hate group next month has renewed concerns about public displays of neo-Nazi sentiments. Maurizio Boccacci, Rome’s most prominent ultraright-wing leader, told La Repubblica newspaper that he plans to relaunch his Movimento Politico on Oct. 28, despite a government ban on its… More ▸

  • Italian Jews Protest Party’s Attempt to Ally with Anti-semitic French Group

    Italian Jewish leaders are protesting an attempt by Italy’s Radical Party to forge an alliance in the European Parliament with France’s far-right National Front. The strongest protest came from Bruno Zevi, a prominent Jewish architect and the honorary president of the Radicals, who lambasted the party leadership during the party’s convention here over the weekend…. More ▸

  • Unhealed Wounds Opening Up As Italy Marks Wartime Massacre

    Controversy stalked this year’s commemoration of Italy’s worst World War II massacre. As part of the annual commemoration, Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Rome Mayor Francesco Rutelli and other top government officials marked the anniversary of the March 24, 1944, Ardeatine Caves massacre with a solemn ceremony Wednesday morning presided over by Rome Chief Rabbi… More ▸

  • Italian Insurance Company Pays Heirs of Policy Holders

    Italy’s largest insurance company has begun compensating the heirs of policyholders who perished in the Holocaust. Some 1,551 applicants have already filed for compensation from the $12 million Israel-based fund established by Assicurazioni Generali, which is also making payments to needy survivors and organizations dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust. Dov Levin, a retired Israeli judge… More ▸

  • Italian Soccer Teams Could Face Fines for Fans’ Anti-semitic Actions

    Italy’s soccer federation has launched an investigation against two soccer teams after fans unfurled anti-Semitic banners at a match last week in Rome. The two teams, Lazio and Roma, could face fines of the equivalent of $30,000. Italy’s sports code makes teams responsible for fans who use banners or signs that encourage racism or violence…. More ▸

  • Focus on Issues: Italy Struggles with Memory of Fascist-era Anti-semitic Legislation

    Sixty years ago, fascist Italy enacted anti-Semitic legislation that led the way to the Holocaust in this country. Italy’s public authorities and the country’s Jewish community are marking the anniversary with a series of commemorations, conferences, publications and other activities. They are aimed both at memorializing the Jews who were persecuted as well as condemning… More ▸

  • Film by Italian Comic Finds Beauty in Concentration Camp

    The creation of the new Holocaust comedy “Life Is Beautiful” began with an impromptu monologue from its Italian star and director, Roberto Benigni. Benigni was sitting with his co-writer in a Rome restaurant when he brainstormed a speech about a father convincing a son that their lives in a concentration camp are a game. It… More ▸

  • Italian Firm Retreats from Settlement

    Italy’s largest insurance company has backed away from an agreement to pay $100 million to families of policy holders who died in the Holocaust. Under the agreement reached last month with lawyers for Holocaust survivors, Assicurazioni Generali said it would pay that money provided Holocaust survivors and their heirs relinquish all claims against the company…. More ▸

  • Italian Firm Approves Agreement

    The board of directors of Italy’s largest insurance firm has approved an agreement made earlier this month to pay $100 million as part of a settlement of Holocaust-era claims. The board of Assicurazioni Generali made its agreement conditional upon the acceptance of the settlement by all other parties involved in the negotiations — including the… More ▸

  • High Holiday Feature: Italian Town with No Jews Hosting New Year Festival

    There is no Jewish community any more in Reggio Emilia, a town in northern Italy famous for its Parmesan cheese. During the High Holidays this year Reggio Emilia is co-host, along with neighboring Parma, of a three week arts festival aimed at providing Italians with complex insights into the deep and continuing influence Jews have… More ▸