Last night, the Embassy of Italy hosted a ceremony co-organized with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and Centro Primo Levi New York to celebrate the donation of the Alessandro Sabbadini Family Archive to the Museum’s David M. Rubenstein National Institute for Holocaust Documentation.
“Memory is crucial to building a conscience, to connect the past to the present.” opened Ambassador Zappia. “Testimonies and documents painfully recall history’s darkest moments, but preserving them and making them accessible for generations to come is an act of love towards life and all those who died because of the Nazi-fascist regimes. I want to remember one of the many voices of the Holocaust survivors, Liliana Segre. At the age of 92, for thirty years, the Senator and activist has been incessantly bearing witness to the horror of the Holocaust, speaking in front of an huge audiences and sending a message against hatred and violence.”
The family archive contains hundreds of records documenting the experience of Alessandro Sabbadini, who fled to the United States in 1939 after racial laws enforcement. He enlisted in the American army, trained at Camp Ritchie (Maryland), and participated in the Allied landing at Anzio. His testimony shed light upon the stories of the many Jewish-Italians migrated to the U.S. and Italian-Americans, who contributed to WWII and to the fall of the Nazi-Fascism through their brave participation to intelligence operations and anti-fascist propaganda radios.
At the international level, Centro Primo Levi is the leader in the research and identification of archival resources. Through its intermediation, his sons, Roger and Steven Sabbadini, have donated to the USHMM documents of the landing, the liberation of Rome, the Allies’ northward advance up the Italian peninsula, and their interaction with the Italian Resistance.
In the recent years, the USHMM has collaborated with state archives and private archives in Italy and other European and extra-European countries involved in the Nazi-fascist extermination to organize and digitalize documents. This lead scholars to deepen not only the history of the persecution of Jews and the historical and institutional context, but also increase international exchanges for the development of archival software. New efforts are underway to identify records of Jewish families whose experience of the persecution unfolded in Italy.