The stumbling block of science and culture is born – Books

The stumbling block of science and culture is born – Books
The stumbling block of science and culture is born – Books
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(ANSA) – ROME, JAN 15 – Research institutions and Jews together for the stumbling block of science and culture. One year after the birth of the “Pagina della Memoria” web platform and in view of the Day of Remembrance of 27 January, the collaboration for the collection and dissemination of documentation and testimonies regarding the impact of the Nazi-fascist racial laws is formalized and expanded on the Italian scientific and academic community. With the Agreement signed on 10 January 2023, INGV, CNR, Accademia dei Lincei and INAPP, with UCEI and CER, will collaborate with the aim of outlining the impact that the so-called “laws racial issues” had on the Italian scientific and academic community. The collaboration will implement the “Pagina della memoria” platform inaugurated by INGV last January 2022, precisely with the aim of studying, collecting and disseminating testimonies and documentation relating to citizens of Jewish religion and/or origin, discharged, exempted, expelled or removed from Italian research institutions, universities and academies. With joint initiatives, the institutions will promote documentary, historical and bibliographic research, as well as the realization of cultural, study and dissemination events in order to underline the dramatic impact of that corpus of legislative provisions which, starting from the Royal Decree Law n. 880 of 19 April 1937, were then called “racial laws”.

“The fundamental aspect of this project consists in the construction of a common and shared path between research institutions and Jews, for the collection, study and dissemination of testimonies and documents relating to the application of the so-called “racial laws” in institutional contexts related to higher education. We thus want to underline the irreparable damage that was caused to Italian scientific and cultural progress”, explains Aldo Winkler, creator of the project. “Furthermore, we intend to enhance the testimonies regarding the expulsion of many women, whose participation in studies and academic life in Jewish society was absolutely avant-garde compared to the practices of the time”.

According to Carlo Doglioni, President of INGV, “The memory of events is the basis for a knowledge society, both for defending ourselves against natural hazards and for preventing the repetition of human behaviors that go beyond any ethical limit. Italian science has undergone the serious consequences of the racial laws and it is appropriate that such a dramatic phase in our history be deepened and disclosed so that it does not have to repeat itself”. The President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, also underlines that “the memory of what happened – accompanied by research and rigorous examination of the facts – is the necessary premise for reaching a greater understanding of the events”.

“Many do not remember and many do not know the absurd persecutions perpetrated in that sad historical period – says Sebastiano Fadda, President of the National Institute for the Analysis of Public Policies – But the courage of those who suffered the sad horrors of deportation and of those , not bending over, had to abandon his own academic and research communities to continue his own activity in exile must be remembered and held up as an example in a world that still often sees human dignity and freedom stifled”.

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“Because of the racial laws of 1938, women and men, eminent scientists, young researchers and technicians were exempt from service in our institution, as in others. It still represents one of the darkest pages of the twentieth century and which originated the destruction of scientific schools , as well as entire families”, declares Maria Chiara Carrozza, President of the National Research Council. The President of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Roberto Antonelli, among the many Italian Jewish personalities who were members of our academy, “remembers at least three Presidents: Vito Volterra, Guido Castelnuovo and Beniamino Segre, fully Italian Jews who, like many other Jews, have contributed to science and to our civil democracy”. (ANSA).

The article is in Italian

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