ITALIAN RACIAL LAWS IN TRIESTE AND THE BURDENS OF A FASCIST LEGACY
It is the anniversary of the shameful proclamation of Italian racial laws. It was September 18th, 1938, and the city of Trieste, annexed to Italy after World War I, was the stage chosen by Benito Mussolini, the “Duce”, the guide of the new Italy united at the price of blood, to announce them to the world. And so Trieste was raped by that brutal regime that wanted cancel its multicultural and multireligious identity.
An identity that was the legacy of the tolerant Austria-Hungary, the Empire that had turned Trieste from a small fishing village to a great, cosmopolitan maritime emporium. It was the richness of Trieste. And the Jewish community contributed greatly to it. The fall of the Empire and the raising of Fascism hit this European island of tolerance for all ethnicities, shaking its roots, and destroying its fruit, harmony born through centuries, forever.
Italian racial laws were the beginning of a nightmare that ended only with the defeat of the bloodthirsty dictatorships that existed only because of the end of Austria-Hungary, the Empire that granted balances in Europe. It was like the collapse of a bright galaxy, swallowed by hate and ultimately turned into a black hole of human evil. And so, light disappeared for years in a Europe fallen into the abyss of absolute evil. To date, we must still come to terms with the legacy of this latent hatred. And Trieste, martyr city of that Fascist Italian nationalism, knows it very well.
FROM NEWSPAPER IL PICCOLO OF 18 SEPTEMBER 1938: EPURAZIONE IN ATTO (PURGING) measures against Jewish workers in Triestine Insurance Companies.
“A legal provision that has special relevance especially in Trieste is the one regarding the exclusion of Jews from the administration of private Insurance Companies. This exclusion should not come as a surprise, since it is the latest in a series of exclusions that regard Civilian administrations of the State, Fascist offices, the administration of Provinces and Municipalities, welfare, municipal utilities, parastatal companies established under public law, etc.
Nowadays, private Insurance Companies are almost the same in nature as parastatal companies, therefore they must be treated alike to such businesses. However, while the State, the Party, the Army, the administrations of Provinces, Municipalities, etc. cannot employ people who belong to the Jewish race, not even those discriminated [the meaning of the word “discriminated” in this context is detailed below], when it comes to private Insurance Companies, discrimination applies. Which means, in practice, the people described at article 13 of the law can continue to work for the Assicurazioni Generali, the Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtà and all companies that depend on them, precisely, Italian citizens of Jewish race that belong to families of the Fallen in the Libyan war, of the World War, and of the Spanish was, as well as to families of the Fallen for the Fascist Cause…
Our insurance companies have started reviewing their personnel on this bases since before the publications of said requirements, now clearly set by the Council of Ministers. Obviously, all measures are proceeding with the needed gradualness, but also with maximum intransigence. The decision of the Government excluded from jobs and works the Jews who belong to offices or services of the State like the Tax Police, Railroads, etc.; the administration of the Province and of the Municipality, including their firms. No Jew employee can hold a position at assistance facilities like hospitals, the Red Cross, the Congregazione di Carità [Congregation of Charity] etc. The same measure is taking place within the bodies of the Party and the organizations that depend on it. But, as for the matter, all that was to be done is done. All that remain is individuals who are going to be dealt with in the next days. The presence of Jews in big banks like the Banca d’Italia, the Banco di Sicilia, the Banco di Napoli, the Banca Commerciale Italiana, la Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, the Credito Italiano etc. is to be excluded”…
Racial laws and Trieste
The decision about service personnel – The Insurance sector – House ownership – Public employment.
The cancelled history of Jews in Trieste and Mitteleuropa:
Anti-Semitism and racial laws in Trieste:
The history and legacy of Italian nationalism in Trieste: