il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

The incredible story of Edgardo Mortara
in a conversation with David Kertzer

The National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah of Ferrara – MEIS promotes a series of events in English aimed at capturing both a national and an international audience. The program starts on June 22th at 7 p.m. (CEST) with a conversation about “The Mortara case”. Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti, historian and curator of the MEIS upcoming exhibit “Beyond the Ghetto. Inside & Out” will be in conversation with the historian and Pulitzer Prize winner David Kertzer.
On 24 June 1858, Edgardo Mortara, a six-years old Jewish child, was kidnapped by the police in Bologna, which then belonged to the Papal State, and admitted to the House of Catechumens. Baptized in secret by a servant, Edgardo will never be returned to his family. In the midst of the Risorgimento, the case shocked Italian and international public opinion calling into question the legitimacy of papal power. Here the link to subscribe to the zoom event.
David Kertzer explored this case in his book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction in 1997. Among the main specialists in the history of Vatican relations with the Jews and the Italian state, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe (2014), which examined documentary evidence from the Vatican archives, arguing that Pope Pius XI played a significant role in supporting the rise of Fascism and Benito Mussolini in Italy, but not of Nazi Germany.