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New York - Centro Primo Levi Helps Uncovers Truth About "Italian Schindler," Giovanni Palatucci's Role As Nazi Collaborator

Published on: June 20, 2013 01:50 PM
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A road named after Giovanni Palatucci.A road named after Giovanni Palatucci.

New York - The Center for Jewish Studies In New York’s Centro Primo Levi has played a key role in unearthing the truth about the man called the “Italian Schindler,” Giovanni Palatucci, revealing in the process that he was not a hero who helped Italian Jews to safety during WWII, but rather an avowed member of Mussolini’s Social Republic, who collaborated with the Nazis in rounding up Italy’s Jews.

The NEW YORK TIMES (http://nyti.ms/19kZjFl) is reporting that Dr. Natalia Indrimi, executive director of Centro Primo Levi, said the revelations about Palatucci came to light as a result of an exhaustive six-year study by over a dozen researchers who reviewed over 700 documents.

In response to a letter from Centro Primo Levi, the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington is now in the process of removing any traces of Platucci’s name.


For decades, the legacy of Palatucci has painted him as a friend and hero to Jews, resulting in countless honors and posthumous remembrances, including a declaration by Pope John Paul II that he was a martyr, and possibly in line for sainthood.

Dr. Indrimi said she could offer no concrete explanation for how Palatucci’s legacy as a hero evolved, but Columbia University Professor, Alexander Steele, said the Palatucci myth was the result of a perfect storm of revisionist history steered by three powerful institutions who benefitted from turning Palatucci into a hero.

Steele said the Italian government wanted badly to “prove” itself more “humane” than the Nazis; the Catholic Church was looking to “embellish” its role in WWII; and the State of Israel was seeking to promote stories of “right-minded ordinary” gentiles helping save “ordinary” Jews.

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