October 16, 1943 by Giacomo Debenedetti
Eight Jews

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"For more than fifty years, Giacomo Debenedetti's October 16, 1943 has been considered one of the best and most accurate accounts of the shockingly brief and efficient roundup of more than one thousand Roman Jews from the oldest Jewish community in Europe for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Completed a year after the event, Debenedetti's intimate details and vivid glimpses into the lives of the victims are especially poignant because Debenedetti himself was there to witness the event, which forced him and his entire family into hiding." Eight Jews, the companion piece to October 16, 1945, was written in response to testimony about the Ardeatine Cave Massacres of March 24, 1944. In this essay, Debenedetti offers insights into that grisly horror and into assumptions about racial equality. Both of these stunning works are appearing together, along with Alberto Moravia's preface to Debenedetti's October 16, 1943, for the first time in an American translation. October 16, 1943/Eight Jews gives American readers a first glimpse into the extraordinary mind of the man who was Italy's foremost critic of twentieth-century literature.
 

About Giacomo Debenedetti

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Published September 1, 2001 by Univ of Notre Dame Pr. 110 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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In Eight Jews, an essay written after the 1944 Nazi massacre of 335 men and boys in the Ardeatine Caves in reprisal for a partisan attack, Debenedetti provocatively argues that eight Jews originally on the list to be executed were removed for the wrong reasons.

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