Something good

H. Stuart Hughes

  • All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-1943 by Jonathan Steinberg
    Routledge, 320 pp, £20.00, June 1990, ISBN 0 415 04757 9

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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[*] Yale, 402 pp., £16.95, 19 October 1989, 0 300 04661 8.