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Remembrance of the Deportation of Italian Jews

January 28th, 2014

Giacomo Debenedetti Chronicled the Deportation of Thousands of Italian Jews

His book 16th of October 1943 will be the focus of a lecture on the 29th of January

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Giacomo (photo: http://it-it.abctribe.com)

News from Berlin. On Wednesday January 29th, The Italian Institute of Berlin will hold a Lecture in Remembrance of the deportation of Italian Jews on the 16thof October 1943. This deportation was chronicled by writer, journalist and literary critic, Giacomo Debenedetti in a book named after the date of this tragic event. The lecture will take place in the frame of the International Holocaust Remembrance day (27th of January) and will be at the Jewish Parish Hall of Berlin (Fasanenstr. 79/80) with Friedhelm Ptock as host.

Giacomo Debenedetti, born in Italy in 1901, was a world known Jewish journalist, essayist and literary critic. He was among the first to validate express his agreement with the theory of Psychoanalisis in Italy and he also pioneered the praise of Marcel Proust’s literary aptitude. Within Debenedetti’s extensive work as a writer, two essays discuss the fate of Italian Jews in times of Mussolini and National Socialism: “16th of October 1943” and “Eight Jews”. The latter addresses the criticism of racial inequality and is considered a companion piece to Debenedetti’s more widely known first account of Nazi crimes in Italy.

In “16th of October 1943” Debenedetti masterfully narrates the round up of Jewish Italians in Rome. As a Jew himself, who was living in Rome at the time of the deportation, Debenedetti and his family were forced into hiding. His firsthand account of the brief and shockingly efficient arrest of thousands of Roman Jews is what makes this narrative so powerful and insightful. The Italian Jewish community, one of the oldest in Europe, suffered tremendously during the Nazi occupation, Debenedetti managed to poignantly capture this is the tales of these prisoners’ lives.

The lecture promises an evening of enlightening debate and remembrance of events that should forever be in our memories. Only knowledge about past tragedies can help us avoid future ones.

For more information check:

http://www.iicberlino.esteri.it/IIC_Berlino/webform/SchedaEvento.aspx?id=1230

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