WWII, the denunciation of Jews on display at the Casina dei Vallati in Rome

Under Nazi-fascism, not only notorious gangs, such as the Bardi-Pollastrini or the Cialli-Mezzaroma gangs, but also “ordinary” Italian citizens distinguished themselves in the denunciation of Jews. A painful chapter, addressed by the exhibition “Le parole dell’odio. Gli ebrei romani venduti ai nazisti” (The Words of Hate. The Roman Jews Sold to the Nazis), curated by Amedeo Osti Guerrazzi and Giorgia Calò for the Jewish Community of Rome and the Shoah Museum Foundation. The exhibition is located at the Casina dei Vallati, in the Villa Borghese gardens in Rome.
An “immersive installation” allows visitors to hear the voices of those who returned, of the eyewitnesses who saw friends and relatives taken away, but also the “words of hatred” that led so many people to their deaths. The exhibition also includes some original documents, including denunciations of survivors against their delators.
The initiative aimed to reflect on many aspects, from the past to today. “Even today we witness the ‘words of hate,’ which we recognize immediately because we have a sensitivity forged by history, by our family experience, but which not everyone can see,” said Victor Fadlun, the president of Rome Jewish Community, during a press preview visit alongside Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano.
“There is antisemitism behind the reversal of history and truth that brings Israel before the International Court of Justice for genocide,” Fadlun remarked. “There is antisemitism in the removal of the enormity of October 7: the door-to-door massacres such as the pogroms, the rapes and the vilification of corpses, the taking of hostages (which are still in the hands of Hamas). There is antisemitism in equating October 7 and Israel’s war, moved only by the need to defend itself and annihilate the real terrorist force that is Hamas is also for its own people.”
The exhibition, the curators point out, has among others one purpose: to make the public “aware that what happened was not only at the hands of a precise design organized from above and aimed at the ‘final solution,’ but was also made possible because of those civilians who delivered into the hands of the Nazis other innocent citizens, whose only fault was that of being Jews.” In this sense, it is recalled, “it is now established” the compensation bestowed for each delusion: 5,000 liras for the capture of a Jewish man, 3,000 liras for a woman, and 1,000 liras for a child.

Photo Ariel Nacamulli