Italy

  • 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 ▸

  • Italian Insurance Firm Agrees to Settle Holocaust Survivors’ Suit

    An Italian insurance firm has agreed to pay $100 million as part of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed last year by Holocaust survivors and the heirs of victims. The payout agreed to by Assicurazioni Generali is a first payment “toward moral and material restitution” by the company, according to officials at the World… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Diverse Italian Community Strives to Resolve Tensions

    Italy’s small, ancient and highly diversified Jewish community has been so rocked recently by internal tensions over who is a Jew and what is Judaism that some feared it could be split apart. The crisis pitted increasingly militant religious traditionalists against the non-observant and, as such, mirrored trends evident throughout the Jewish world. The 35,000-strong… More ▸

  • Italian Jewish Leader Ready to Step Down After 15 Years

    For 15 years, Tullia Zevi has used her position as the leader of Italy’s Jewish community to speak out forcefully against anti- Semitism and other forms of discrimination, both at home and in the international arena. In doing so, the elegant, silver-haired grandmother has become one of Italy’s most prominent and honored women, and one… More ▸

  • Italian List of Policyholders May Include Survivors’ Names

    An Italian insurance firm has given Israeli museum officials a list of life insurance policies that may include unclaimed policies belonging to many Holocaust victims. Assicurazioni Generali last week gave officials from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial a CD-ROM containing more than 300,000 names of Jews and non-Jews who bought life insurance policies from Generali… More ▸

  • News Analysis: Italy’s Jews Split over Twist in Priebke War Crimes Case

    The case involving former Nazi SS Capt. Erich Priebke has taken more than a few dramatic twists and turns since he was discovered in South America more than a decade ago. The latest act in the lengthy legal drama was played out over the weekend, when an appeals court in Rome, in a stunning revision… More ▸