Drawing primarily upon memoirs and autobiographical accounts, this essay investigates the plight of Italian Jews who were forced to leave Italy for the United States in the aftermath of the 1938 Fascist Racial Legislation. It argues that, after enduring discrimination in their motherland on the grounds that they allegedly did not belong to the "Italian race," according to the notorious "Manifesto of the Racial Scientists," those Italian Jews who managed to land in the United States did not find a better fate in their adoptive land. Besides suffering from undercurrents of anti-Semitism within the broader U.S. society, they also ended up being marginalized by many members of the Italian-American communities. These latter generally failed to acknowledge the existence of such people as Italian Jews. However, rather than reflecting the transnational influence of the Fascist propaganda across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian Americans’ anti-Jewish feelings resulted from the legacy of rivalries and conflicts pitting Italian immigrants and their progeny against U.S. Jews that foreran Benito Mussolini’s racial turn in 1938.

Double Marginality: Italian Jews in the United States in the Wake of the Fascist Racial Legislation

LUCONI, Stefano
2022

Abstract

Drawing primarily upon memoirs and autobiographical accounts, this essay investigates the plight of Italian Jews who were forced to leave Italy for the United States in the aftermath of the 1938 Fascist Racial Legislation. It argues that, after enduring discrimination in their motherland on the grounds that they allegedly did not belong to the "Italian race," according to the notorious "Manifesto of the Racial Scientists," those Italian Jews who managed to land in the United States did not find a better fate in their adoptive land. Besides suffering from undercurrents of anti-Semitism within the broader U.S. society, they also ended up being marginalized by many members of the Italian-American communities. These latter generally failed to acknowledge the existence of such people as Italian Jews. However, rather than reflecting the transnational influence of the Fascist propaganda across the Atlantic Ocean, Italian Americans’ anti-Jewish feelings resulted from the legacy of rivalries and conflicts pitting Italian immigrants and their progeny against U.S. Jews that foreran Benito Mussolini’s racial turn in 1938.
2022
Ici, là-bas, allieurs: Le transnationalisme dans les Amériques (XVIe-XXIe siècle)
978-2-37125-056-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3453630
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