Historian and Pulitzer Prize winner David Kertzer is currently in Rome to carry on his studies on the relationship between the Vatican and the fascist regime. His book on pope Pius XI and dictator Benito Mussolini (“The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe”) earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 2015.
Last week he attended an event at the American Academy in Rome. As reported in Pagine Ebraiche, Kertzer disclosed some new documents on the issue: letters to Mussolini from high-profile Vatican figures praising his work and asking him to prevent Jews from running for public office.
The Italian daily Corriere della Sera recently ran an article about the historian, where he remembers that he developed a passion for Italian history thanks to his father. Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer was a military chaplain for the American army during Second World War and he celebrated the first Shabbat in Rome’s Great Synagogue after the liberation in June 1944.
David Kertzer is also the author of the book “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara”. A movie based on the book will be directed by Stephen Spielberg.