A New Book Exposes Italian Complicity in the Holocaust

Oct. 10 2018

Reviewing The Italian Executioners, a recent book on the Holocaust in Italy by Simon Levis Sullam, Michael M. Rosen writes:

Levis Sullam [revisits] the historiography of Italian wartime conduct, finding that the reigning paradigm adds insult to injury by celebrating the righteous Gentiles within the Italian resistance while whitewashing the perpetration of [mass murder] by thousands of their fellow citizens. Nearly 10,000 fascist apparatchiks received a postwar amnesty in the spirit of national reconciliation, a process that spawned what has been called the “myth of the good Italian.” . . .

The hinge moment [in the Italian Shoah] arrived in September 1943, when, after a brief non-fascist interregnum following the (temporary) ouster of Mussolini, the Nazis seized the northern half of the country and helped establish the Italian Social Republic, whose intellectuals . . . “laid the ideological and propagandistic groundwork necessary to prepare, justify, and support [fighting a] civil war and participation” in the Holocaust.

But Levis Sullam attributes the murder of Italy’s Jews less to the government’s grand elevated theory than to its quotidian bureaucratic practice. He reckons that Italians were responsible for 2,210, or roughly half, of all arrests and deportations of Jews, most on their own but some in conjunction with German officers. Yet even the remainder of arrests, which the Germans alone executed, universally relied on “the help of information and organizational support from the Italians”—most prominently the 1938 census that identified the names and addresses of all Jews residing in the country. . . .

Of course, the tragedy in Italy pales in comparison to the ruination of the communities of Eastern Europe; some 6,000 Italian Jews perished, representing 10 percent of the country’s total Jewish population and only one-tenth of one percent of the Jews who were lost to the Shoah. Although there was a surprising thoroughness and efficiency to the efforts of many Italians to solve the “Jewish problem,” the fascist regime did not act with the same urgency as the Nazis did.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Benito Mussolini, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Italian Jewry, Italy

Nikki Haley Succeeded at the UN Because She Saw It for What It Is

Oct. 15 2018

Last week, Nikki Haley announced that she will be stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year. When President Trump appointed her to the position, she had behind her a successful tenure as governor of South Carolina, but no prior experience in foreign policy. This, writes Seth Lispky, turned out to have been her greatest asset:

What a contrast [Haley provided] to the string of ambassadors who fell on their faces in the swamp of Turtle Bay. That’s particularly true of the two envoys under President Barack Obama. [The] “experienced” hands who came before her proceeded to fail. Their key misconception was the notion that the United Nations is part of the solution to the world’s thorniest problems. Its charter was a vast treaty designed by diplomats to achieve “peace,” “security,” and “harmony.”

What hogwash.

Haley, by contrast, may have come in without experience—but that meant she also lacked for illusions. What a difference when someone knows that they’re in a viper pit—that the UN is itself the problem. And has the gumption to say so.

This became apparent the instant Haley opened her first press conference, [in which she said of the UN’s obsessive fixation on condemning the Jewish state]: “I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. . . . I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

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More about: Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, US-Israel relations