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Location: Southern central Europe, bordered in 1939 by Switzerland, France, Austria, and Yugoslavia. Capital city: Rome History: The site of the ancient Roman empire, Italy was a collection of city states along with the Papal States in the medieval, renaissance, and early modern periods. The unification of Italy took place in 1861 with Victor Emmanuel II from the house of Savoy as the king. During WWI, Italy was at first neutral and then joined the Allied side. In 1922, Mussolini and the Fascist Party took over the government. During the early years of the Fascist regime, Italian Jews retained their civil rights but as Italy became more aligned with Nazi Germany, their situation worsened. The racial laws were enacted in 1938. According to the census taken in 1938, there were approximately 46,656 Jews living in Italy. When WWII began, Italy remained neutral and then joined the Axis in 1940. In July 1943 the Fascist Grand Council overthrew Mussolini and in September Italy surrendered to the Allies. The Germans occupied the northern and central regions and Mussolini established a puppet regime in the north. The Italian Jews living in the German-occupied areas were deported to Auschwitz and other concentration camps. The Germans also established camps in Italy such as Fossoli and Bolzano-Gries. Approximately 7,555 Jews from Italy and Rhodes perished in the Holocaust. Italian partisans captured and executed Mussolini in April 1945. Italy's current borders were established in 1947 and Trieste was returned to Italy in 1954. (en-US)


Fargion, Liliana Picciotto. "Italien." In Dimension des Völkermords: Die Zahl der jüdischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Edited by Wolfgang Benz. Pp. 199-228. München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1991. pp. 201, 216

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