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The Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi and the Rescue of Italian Jews

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Chapter Summary

The documents from Pietro Tacchi Venturi's archive reveal that his relation to Jews was much more complex than previously portrayed by scholars of Italian Fascism. The Jesuit's records show that he dealt with both individuals and larger groups of persecuted Jews. Roberto Farinacci's unhidden animosity towards the Jesuit Tacchi Venturi, apparently caused by the latter's zealous intercession for Italian Jews after the promulgation of the racial laws, appeared again on the pages of the same newspaper just a few months later. Although Tacchi Venturi certainly did not have the prophetic voice of those few Christians who opposed the Fascist or Nazi persecution of Jews, it should be recognized nevertheless that the Fascist Jesuit represented a shift in the Catholic church's approaches to its centuries-long tradition of the policy of purity of blood, of which the Jesuits were foremost promoters.

Keywords: Catholic church; Italian Fascism; Italian Jews; Nazi persecution; Pietro Tacchi Venturi; Roberto Farinacci



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