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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fossoli di Carpi: The History and Memory of the Holocaust in Italy
by Herr, Alexis, Ph.D., Clark University, 2014, 387; 3633672
Abstract (Summary)

Fossoli di Carpi: The History and Memory of the Holocaust in Italy analyzes the role and function of an Italian deportation camp during and immediately after World War II within the context of Italian, European, and Holocaust history. Drawing upon archival documents, trial proceedings, memoirs, and testimonies, Fossoli di Carpi investigates the distinct functions of Fossoli as an Italian prisoner-of-war camp for Allied soldiers captured in North Africa (1942-43), a Nazi deportation camp for Jews and political prisoners (1943-44), a postwar Italian prison for Fascists, German soldiers, and displaced persons (1945-47), and a Catholic orphanage (1947-52). This case study shines a spotlight on victims, perpetrators, Resistance fighters, and local collaborators to depict how the Holocaust unfolded in a small town and how postwar conditions supported a story of national innocence. My dissertation trains a powerful lens on the multi-layered history of Italy during the Holocaust and illuminates key elements of local involvement largely ignored by Italian wartime and postwar narratives, particularly compensated compliance, the normalization of mass murder, and the industrialization of the Judeocide in Italy.

The buoyancy and longevity of the "brava gente" myth in popular Holocaust memory has obscured Italian participation in the Judeocide. This study of a camp, from its origins to its postwar functions, exposes not only the pattern of silence that facilitated mass murder, but also the national and international political sources of that silence. Italy's wartime past is far from a single-note narration of benevolence. This emerges clearly as we scrutinize a decade of uses of Fossoli.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dwork, Deborah
Commitee: Roth, John K., Stone, Marla
School: Clark University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, Holocaust Studies
Keywords: Fascism, Fossoli di carpi, Genocide, Italy
Publication Number: 3633672
ISBN: 978-1-321-13760-6
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