Sarfatti, Michele 1952-

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Sarfatti, Michele 1952-


Born 1952, in Florence, Italy.




Historian. Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, Milan, Italy, director, 2002—.



Gaddo e gli altri "svizzeri": Storie della Resistenza in Valle d'Aosta, Istituto storico della Resistenza in Valle d'Aosta (Aosta, Italy), 1981.

La nascita del moderno pacifismo democratico ed il Congrès International de la Paix di Ginevra nel 1867, Edizioni Comune di Milano (Milan, Italy), 1981.

Mussolini contro gli ebrei: Cronaca dell'elaborazione delle leggi del 1938, Silvio Zamorani (Turin, Italy), 1994.

(Editor) Il ritorno alla vita: vicende e diritti degli ebrei in Italia dopo la seconda guerra mondiale, Giuntina (Florence, Italy), 1998.

Gli ebrei nell'Italia fascista: Vicende, identità, persecuzione, Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 2000, 2nd edition, 2007, translated by John Tedeschi and Anne C. Tedeschi as The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: From Equality to Persecution, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 2006

Le leggi antiebraiche spiegate agli italiani di oggi, Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 2002.

La Shoah in Italia: La persecuzione degli ebrei sotto il fascismo, Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 2005.

Contributor to books, including The Italian Refuge: Rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, edited by Ivo Herzer, Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC), 1989; The Jews of Italy: Memory and Identity, edited by Bernard D. Cooperman and Barbara Garvin, University Press of Maryland (Bethesda, MD), 2000; and Jews in Italy under Fascist and Nazi Rule, 1922-1945, edited by Joshua D. Zimmerman, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.


Italian historian Michele Sarfatti is the author of The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: From Equality to Persecution. Here, Sarfatti looks at the treatment of Italian Jews under Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, the Fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943. Using extensive statistical evidence, Sarfatti asserts that Mussolini and his regime, rather than simply adopting the plans of German leader Adolf Hitler, independently enacted anti-Jewish legislation in Italy. "Among the author's many original claims," observed Alessandro Cassin in the Jewish Daily Forward, she "maintains that the seeds of anti-Semitism were present in the Fascist regime since its inception, though anti-Semitism was not yet official policy. With a multitude of documented examples, the book follows the anti-Semitic crescendo in both official political discourse and practice." Early in his tenure, Mussolini granted favored status to Catholicism, and in 1934 the office of the Interior Ministry called for the removal of Ferrara's Jewish mayor. In 1938, Mussolini began passing restrictive racial laws, and by 1943 the Italian government was arresting Jews for deportation; an estimated seven thousand Jews died in Nazi death camps. Sarfatti's "rich and compassionate study of the plight of Italy's Jews combines vivid narrative with scrupulous historical accuracy," remarked a Publishers Weekly critic. According to Cassin, The Jews in Mussolini's Italy "is a compelling read and a major contribution to a more sophisticated understanding of anti-Semitism in Fascist Italy."



Booklist, July 1, 2006, George Cohen, review of The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: From Equality to Persecution, p. 15.

Choice, March 1, 2007, G.R. Sharfman, review of The Jews in Mussolini's Italy, p. 1234.

Jewish Daily Forward, October 27, 2006, Alessandro Cassin, review of The Jews in Mussolini's Italy.

Publishers Weekly, May 29, 2006, review of The Jews in Mussolini's Italy, p. 47.


Michele Sarfatti Home Page, (June 20, 2007).