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H. Stuart Hughes

H. Stuart Hughes an emeritus professor of history at the University of California, is the author of Prisoners of Hope: The Silver Age of the Italian Jews 1924-74, among other books. His memoirs, Gentleman Rebel, Will appear from Ticknor and Fields in November.

Something good

H. Stuart Hughes, 13 September 1990

In the late summer of 1942 a small group of Italian diplomats and senior officers decided to save the lives of a few thousand Jews. The Jews, mostly from Croatia, had fled to the parts of Yugoslavia which the Italian Army occupied during 1941 and had since that time lived in peace under the protection of the Royal Italian Army. They had run from the unsystematic butchery of the Croatian Fascists, the Ustasi, but by the middle of 1942 they were threatened with the systematic extermination planned for them under the Nazi ‘new order’ in Europe. In August of 1942 the German Government formally asked the Italian Government to hand them over. Mussolini agreed; a handful of Italian diplomats and generals said no.

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