Memories of Jewish Life: From Italy to Jerusalem, 1918-1960

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U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 2008 - History - 542 pages
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In this lyrical memoir, translated for the first time into English, noted Jewish historian, author, translator, and activist Augusto Segre not only recounts his rich life experiences but also evokes the changing world of Italian Jewry in the twentieth century. Raised in the traditional Jewish community of Casale Monferrato in the former ghetto, Segre depicts the changes wrought on his people by emancipation, fascism, world wars, and the Holocaust. Segre was a vocal opponent of Italian fascism and a combatant in Italy s partisan war against the Nazis. With the help of Italian peasants, he and his family spent eighteen months evading German and Italian fascist soldiers during the German occupation of Italy. Segre also was an ardent Zionist who helped refugees escape to Israel and ultimately immigrated himself in 1979. He spent three months in Israel in 1948, chronicling Israel s War of Independence. With an ethnographic eye, Segre interweaves his own memories with those of his rabbi father and uses newspapers, public documents, and letters to reveal the shared emotions and moods of a people and the impact the greatest events in European and Jewish history had on them all. The trend of Italian Jews toward assimilation was evident in Segre s time, and an awareness of it pervades this work. Memories of Jewish Life provides a rare glimpse into a traditional, religious and vibrant working-class Jewish community that no longer exists.
 

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Contents

1 Once Upon a Time
1
2 The Rabbis Family
30
3 Its Not Always Easy to Become a Rabbi
52
4 The Community Council
62
5 First Experiences
72
6 Casalese AntiZionism
87
7 Jewish Festivals and Solemnities
101
8 Community and Family Life
114
20 Commuter
280
21 The Nazi Invasion
292
22 Partisan Life
309
23 April 25
333
24 The Prisoner Emerling
343
25 Toward a Normal Life
353
26 Return to Rome
365
27 The State of Israel Is Reborn
381

9 Farewell Visit
125
10 Rome Friends and Teachers
138
11 Jewish Rome
163
12 Students and Politicians
175
13 From Police Stations to the Secretaryship of the Union
191
14 The Racial Campaign Breaks Out
201
15 Dante Lattes Leaves
213
16 Working with Raffaele Cantoni
222
17 Who Leaves and Who Stays
234
18 I Return Home
248
19 Asti and Moncalvo
266
28 New Activities of the Zionist Federation
390
29 Sailing for Israel
400
30 Israel at War
409
31 A Happy Encounter
431
32 The Slansky Case
439
33 Life Goes On
442
Notes
451
Glossary
485
References
493
Index
499
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About the author (2008)

Augusto Segre (1915–86) was born in the northern Italian town of Casale Monferrato and died a citizen of Israel. He was a professor at the Italian Rabbinical College and the Lateran Pontifical University and authored nine books.   Steve Siporin is a professor of folklore at Utah State University. He is the author of American Folk Masters: The National Heritage Fellows.

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