Cinzia Gavello

The polytechnic of Turin in the face of racial laws. Events surrounding, and the careers of Jewish students (1938-1945)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Polytechnic of Turin, Racial laws, Jewish students, Racial persecution, Gustavo Colonnetti

The aim of this paper is to bring to light the effects and repercussions of the application of racial laws within the academic and institutional context of the Polytechnic of Turin. This research does not intend to merely investigate events related to the careers of Jewish students enrolled at the Polytechnic, many of whom were destined to cover fundamental roles in the architectural and engineering cultures of the twentieth century, but also to understand the response of the Polytechnic’s governing bodies to the regime’s policies. The study of issues related to the application and implications of the racial laws within the Polytechnic is made possible firstly thanks to an analysis of records held in the historical archives of the Polytechnic itself. These represent a corpus of great interest and range from ministerial circulars and diverse administrative-related documentation, to the rich collection of correspondence and personal files of Jewish professors, assistants, and students. Through a critical reading of the archives of one of the most important universities in Italy, it is therefore possible to evidence a varied spectrum of actions and reactions, as well as new interpretations emerging precisely through an investigation into events surrounding the personal and professional lives of the victims of racial persecution.

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