Fate of the Ferrarese Jews

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 22.03.22Dalrymple points out that Mussolini,

whom some of the Jewish bourgeoisie had strongly supported in the early days of his regime, opportunistically enacted antisemitic laws to curry favour with Hitler.

Some 96 of the 300 Jews of the city of Ferrara, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, were deported to Poland, and only five of these survived.

Bassani and his wife Valeria in 1943

Bassani and his wife Valeria in 1943

Dalrymple writes that the novelist Giorgio Bassani intends the reader of his Gli occhiali d’oro (1958)

to draw a parallel between the way in which [the homosexual protagonist] Dr Fadigati is treated and the increasing persecution of the narrator [a Jewish student].

Cimitero Ebraico di Ferrara: the entrance, and Bassani's grave

Cimitero ebraico di Ferrara: the entrance, and Bassani’s grave

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