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Transcript of Giovanni Palatucci
-Dr. Giovanni Palatucci, born in Montella, in Avellino province, in 1909, was appointed a police officer in 1937 and later that year he was transferred from Genoa to Fiume.
_ Palatucci headed the office for foreigners at the local police headquarters in Fiume (later Rijeka in Croatia). He distinguished himself as gentle and reliable in his relations with local Jews, who were afflicted by two harsh anti-Jewish laws regarding internment, one applied in September 1938 and another in June 1940, which suddenly turned them into foreigners or without nationality.
What did he Do?
Elena Eshkenasy … [Show more]Dafner recalled that Palatucci issued transit permits to her relatives who arrived clandestinely from Vienna, and others recollect delays in his executing internment orders. Palatucci’s workload became heavier, with the arrival of refugees after the Italian attack on Yugoslavia in April 1941. Hundreds of Jews fled to Fiume from Croatia, where the Ustaša antisemitic and anti-Serbian regime established itself. Other Yugoslav territories also were annexed to Italy in mid-May 1941. Hundreds of Jews were declined entrance to Fiume province because of Temistocle Testa, Palatucci’s superior
Palatucci also played a role in directing refugees clandestinely by sea to Bari during the period of German administration as of September 1943. Unfortunately, Palatucci could not save his own life. He was arrested by the Gestapo on September 13, 1944. He was imprisoned and tortured in Trieste and condemned to death. Deported on October 22, 1944, to Dachau in Germany, Palatucci died on February 10, 1945. After the war, in 1953, in Israel, the municipality of Ramat Gan named a street in his honor; it is called “Hapodim Street.”
Righteous Among Nations
The late Giovanni Palatucci was honored on February 10, 2005 as a Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem tomorrow. Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu, his Israeli counterpart, Gideon Ezra, the Italian Police Commissioner Giovanni De Gennaro, Italian Ambassador to Israel HE Sandro De Bernardin, members of the Association of Italian Immigrants in Israel and a delegation of some 160 people from Italy will attend the ceremonies. Elizabeth Quitt-Ferber, a survivor who was saved by Palatucci, will attend as well. The ceremony will be conducted in Hebrew and Italian. During the the program Palatucci's name was unveiled in the Garden of the Righteous.
During the the program Palatucci's name was unveiled in the Garden of the Righteous.
371 Italians have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, through the end of 2004.
According to the 2013 research, the story surrounding Palatucci was a myth instigated by his uncle, Bishop Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, who allegedly used the story in 1952 to secure a war pension for his brother and sister-in-law (Palatucci's parents).Michael Day asked in The Independent newspaper how Palatucci helped "more than 5,000 Jews to escape in a region where officially, the Jewish population was half that". Anna Pizzuti, editor of the database of foreign Jewish internees in Italy, told Corriere Della Sera that it was impossible that Palatucci could have rerouted thousands of Jews to Campagna when "no more than 40 Fiume residents were interned in Campagna; and a third of these ended up in Auschwitz".
The Giovanni Palatucci Foundation, which campaigns for Palatucci's beatification, criticized what it called "revisionist historians", and cites on its website individual cases where Jews claim relatives were saved by Palatucci’s direct intervention.It also said that critics who claim it is untenable to suggest he saved 5,000 Jews in an area with a Jewish population of just half that number, have failed to take into account the huge number of migrant Jews from eastern or central Europe who may have been present.