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“We must therefore supply them with plausible news and only from time to time plant unverifiable items of propaganda and denounce personalities in the Fascist regime.”
–the philosophy of the author’s boss in the British Intelligence Service’s Psychological Warfare Department, in the early 1940’s
The Book of the Week is “Memoirs of A Fortunate Jew, An Italian Story” by Dan Vittorio Segre, published in 1985.
In December 1922, the author was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Piedmont, Italy. When his father had a reversal of fortune at the start of the Great Depression, his family moved to Udine in northern Italy to live with his mother’s rich relatives. In July 1938, he was expelled from public school for being Jewish. Since Italy hated Germany, Italy turned anti-Semitic only after Mussolini had decided to throw in with Hitler. In order to kiss up to Hitler, in 1938, Mussolini made Italy comply with the Nuremberg Laws.
However, that same year, the author’s father, who had previously become– under duress– a Fascist Party member, refused to comply with the Laws. He helped the author flee to Palestine by financing a visa for him. The author joined other brash, opinionated young refugees who became kibbutzniks. He didn’t believe in socialism, but he did want to fight for a cause bigger than himself– the Jews.
Human nature governed the conflict-fraught motley bunch of parties fighting and / or allying with each other in Palestine during WWII. In general, it was (in no particular order) Palestinians, Arabs, Jews and British subjects. The first three aforesaid groups acquired a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, imitating their British masters.
Read the book to learn the fates and ideological bents of the author, his family members, and others in his life and times.