Ottolenghi, Giuseppe

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OTTOLENGHI, GIUSEPPE (1838–1904), Italian general and minister of war. Born in Sabbioneta, Lombardy, Ottolenghi studied at the Turin military academy and fought with the Italian army in the war against Austria in 1859. In the following year he was transferred to the general staff, the first Jew to serve in that capacity in Italy. Ottolenghi was promoted to captain in 1863 and lectured on military tactics at the Modena military academy. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 he was Italian military attache in France and in 1878 was a member of the international commission to fix the boundary between Turkey and Montenegro. In 1902 he became commander of the 4th army corps with the rank of lieutenant general. In the same year he was made minister of war (the first Jew in Europe to hold this position) and a member of the senate. Ottolenghi was the recipient of many honors, including the silver medal for military valor and the Cross of Savoy. He remained a loyal Jew all his life.

add. bibliography:

A. Rovighi, I Militari di Origine Ebraica nel Primo Secolo di Vita dello Stato Italiano, Roma (1999), 85–86.

[Mordechai Kaplan]