il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

How San Marino helped the Jews during WWII
A scholar appeal for stories and memories

During World War II, San Marino, a small land locked country in central Italy, provided a harbor for thousands of refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, there were many Jews looking for a neutral country to weather the Nazi and Fascist persecutions. The solidarity shown by the most ancient republic of the world has been so impressive that in 1949 the Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion officially gave thanks to the rulers. The director of the immigration research center of the University of San Marino, Patrizia De Luca, has studied this at length. “More than ten years ago, we started our research aimed at reconstructing scientifically both the complexity and the contradictions of this history of welcoming. We already analyzed many documents, which are in part preserved in crucial archives of Jewish institutions, such as the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation – Cdec. We signed an agreement with the Museum of Yashem in order to work on a joint study and gathered some testimonies of family history”. Yet there is much more to know and report, and Patrizia De Luca launches an appeal to our readers to explore any reference to San Marino in family memories, letters, journals, and even in stories about that dramatic period passed down through the generations.
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