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December 10, 1982 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-12-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

8 Friday, December 10, 1982

MOVING?

Priced Sale of Household Furnishings
Professionally Conducted In Your Home
Estate Liquidators

1

Italians Protected Jews During World War II

By JOHN BIERMAN
person with direct per-
(Editor's note: Bier- sonal experience is in-
man, a television pro- vited to contact John
ducer, is researching a Bierman in writing at
Liquidators
Appraisers
proposed documentary Room 1406, 400 Madison
368-4044
film on Italian efforts to Ave., New York, N.Y.
875-7650
thwart Hitler's extermi- 10017. Bierman is the
Member of Antique Appraisal Assoc. of America
nation program. Any author of "Righteous
Gentile: The Story of
Raoul Wallenberg" and
also produced "Missing
Hero," the documentary
about Wallenberg which
was-seen on PBS televi-
sion stations across the
U.S. last year.)
Since the unification of
Italy under Garibaldi, the
light Hanuka candles before Sabbath candles
_
record of the Italians
Gifts For The Whole Family
towards their small Jewish
minority has generally been
• Dreidels
good — especially during
World War II when, despite
• Decorations
• Paper Goods
being Hitler's main Euro-
• Gift Wrapping
pean ally, they rejected
• Tablecloths
Nazi demands to cooperate
• $trearuN-s
• - Napkins
in the Final Solution.
• Greetings Cards
This is a heartening but
• Plates
very little-known aspect of
• Menorahs
• Cups
Holocaust history and —
• Candles
given the bitterness of some
• Cookie Cutters
recent Jewish comment
about Yasir Arafat's visit to
Rome and the Vatican, fol-
lowed by the terrorist at-
tack on a Rome synagogue
Records
• •Giftware from Israel
— this may be a good time to
Books
spell the story out.
• Candlesticks
With all his many faults,
Toys
• Records & Tapes
anti-Semitism was not orig-
inally an intrinsic part of
Games
• Books
Benito Mussolini's political
Chocolate Gelt
• 14 Kt Gold Jewelry
philosophy.
An official Fascist
Encyclopedia published
in the early 1930s specifi-
cally disavowed anti-
Semitism as `impossible
because of (Italy's) tradi-
tions. And writing on
marriages between Jews
and Catholics in 1932,
Mussolini himself com-
mented that "the fre-
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quency of mixed mar-
riages in Italy will be
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who are truly good, sin-
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Open Thursday Eve. and All Day Sunday
Mussolini cast these lib-
eral sentiments aside in

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BORENSTEIN'S

1938 when — ever the op-
portunist and now playing
second fiddle to Hitler
whom he had previously
counseled to go easy on the
Jews — he published a ra-
cial manifesto which
launched an official policy
of anti-Semitism.
But the policy was never
implemented vigorously
and although Jews suffered
professionally and eco-
nomically they were not in
physical danger until Italy
surrendered to the Allies in
the fall of 1943 and the
Nazis occupied the north of
the country. Nor were the
Jews of the Italian-occupied
territories in danger, even
though this led to acute
high-level tension between
the Axis partners.
In France, for example,
after the puppet Vichy gov-
ernment agreed to Nazi de-
mands for the deportation of
all foreign Jews, the Ita-
lians intervened. So far as
their zone was concerned,
said their military com-
mander, the internment of
"persons of Jewish race"
was prohibited.
When the Vichy
authorities appeared not
to take this and similar
warnings seriously, Gen-
eral Carlo Avarna di
Gualtieri made it crystal
clear. His previous mes-
sages, he wrote, "do not
bear the character of a
request or a proposal but
are • a definite pro-
nouncement."
SS Colonel Helmut
Knochen in Paris urged his
headquarters in Berlin to
press for formal in-
structions from the Duce to
his officers in the field to
cooperate, otherwise "we
must foresee that the final
solution in France will have
to be reconsidered."
But even though Nazi
Foreign Minister Joachim
von Ribbentrop raised the

.

matter personally with
Mussolini, things did not
"improve."
In Yugoslavia it was a
similar story. A puppet re-
gime of Croatian fascists in-
stigated a reign of terror
against Jews and Serbs, and
Italian troops, acting on
their own initiative, helped
hundreds to escape.
When their , own occu-
pation zone had been es-
tablished, the Italians
chased the Croatian fas-
cist militia out,_ allowing
all Jews and Serbs'there
to live unmolested, and
when the Nazis began to
press for the Jews to be
deported to the extermi-
nation camps, the Italian
commander responded
that it was "not in keep-
ing with the honor of the
Italian army" to comply.
A group of prominent
Croatian Jews later wrote
to the commander praising
"the nobility of soul and
humane feelings" of his
men. "Nothing will ever
erase from our hearts the
eternal gratitutde we feel,"
they said. "
In Greece, the great
majority of the Jewish popu-
lation were in Salonika, in-
side the Nazi zone, and were
slaughtered at Auschwitz.
But again, the Italians val-
iantly protected the Jews in
their own zone.
In one instance they
warned the Germans that
one of Adolf Eichmann's
lieutenants risked arrest if
he did not cease his activi-
ties in Athens, inside the
Italia _ n zone. __
A surviving Greek Jew,
Itzhak Nehemia, wrote la-
ter: "The Jews who lived in
the parts occupied by the
Italians were more or less
safe. The Italian govern-
ment openly resisted Ger-
man attempts to arrest and
persecute Jews."

El Al in L iquidation

4 44 1,0tri

4. „

" ■ • • ,;,.. •

TEL AVIV (JTA) — The
El Al national airline was
officially put into liquida-
tion Sunday, when the
Jerusalem District Court
agreed to an appeal by its
shareholders and appointed
Amram Blum, the adminis-
trator general and official
receiver, as temporary re-
ceiver for the airline.
The Histadrut and the El
Al employees committees
have therefore lost all their
series of fights to prevent
the El Al windup.
Blum is expected to try to
get part of the airline back
into the air again, believing
that an operating airline
will be a more attractive
buy for possible investors if
it is decided to sell the air-
line to private individuals
or groups.
Assisted by Rafi Har-
Lev, a former El Al acting
president, Blum is ex-
pected to try and operate
some of the more profita-
ble lines while keeping
others closed.
But the airline employees
committees have been get-
ting all employees to sign an
undertalgnA not to re tu4711

work at management re-
quest or instructions unless
all employees are rehired or
suitable arrangements
made for those wishing to
leave the company. Heavy
financial fines have been
mentioned for any El Al
worker contravening this
agreement.
Meanwhile, heavy police
reinforcements are on
guard at Ben-Gurion Air-
port to prevent any possible
demonstration by El Al
workers who, it is feared,
may try to sabotage airline
equipment.
The impending liquida-
tion of El Al has created
problems for the airline's
cargo service, the only
branch still operating.
One cargo jet was held
up for debt payment at
Frankfurt airport and
another was delayed at
Cairo airport. Both were
released after the Israeli
government assured El
Al creditors that it as-
sumes full responsibility
for payments due.
Losses of at least $30 mil-
lion for the fiscal year end-
ing March 31 were expected.

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