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December 27: The Righteous Nun

Sister Sara Salkaházi, who saved the lives of some hundred Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust, was murdered by the Arrow Cross, the pro-Nazi party of Hungary, on this date in 1944. Salkahazi, born in 1899, was a teacher, journalist, and worker-activist before she took vows in the Sisters of Social Service in 1930. During […]

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March 24: Partisans in Italy — and a Reprisal

After sixteen partisans of the Italian Communist “Patriotic Action Group” killed 42 SS police in a bombing in central Rome the previous day (the 25th anniversary of the founding of Mussolini’s fascist party), the Nazi occupiers of Italy massacred 335 Italian prisoners in the Ardeatine Caves in Rome, including 57 Jews (the majority of Rome’s […]

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January 22: Tullia Zevi and the Jews of Italy

Tullia Zevi, who was among the few women journalists to report on the Nuremberg war crimes trial in 1946 and served as president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities from 1983 to 1998, died at 91 on this date in 2011. Born Tullia Calabi in Milan, she was in Switzerland with her family in […]

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Gertrude Stein’s Romance with Fascism

by Dusty Sklar MODERNIST INNOVATOR, TASTEMAKER and (by her own admission) artistic genius Gertrude Stein was beloved by many. She had a warm, charming persona that almost never failed to delight people. She delighted historian Bernard Fay (1893-1978), a fellow American intellectual with whom she had several things in common. Both were gay (Hemingway referred […]

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OpEdge: Is Donald Trump a Fascist?

by Marc Jampole I WAS PREVIOUSLY reluctant to call Donald Trump a fascist, because he hasn’t overtly called for a dictatorship. It also seems like an ad hominem cheap shot to compare anyone to the Nazis. His first television commercial, however, reminds me how much his campaign resembles fascist political initiatives in Italy and Germany […]

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The Uncivil Servant: The Candidate We Deserve

by Mitchell Abidor We were discussing politics, my wife and I, and I said, “Who knows, maybe it’ll be Trump against Bernie in the general election, and we’ll see which way America chooses to go when presented with the clear choice between decency and vileness.” Joan said she wouldn’t want to see that choice presented, […]

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May 3: Earthquake

The largest of a series of three earthquakes hit the island of Rhodes on this date in 1481. Thirty thousand people died, and the Jewish quarter of the city of Rhodes was destroyed. The Jewish community there dated back to the Hellenistic period, perhaps earlier. Herod had been shipwrecked at Rhodes on his way to […]

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April 8: Mussolini’s Jewish Lover

Margherita Sarfatti, an Italian journalist and socialite who served as a propaganda adviser to the National Fascist Party and was Benito Mussolini’s mistress as well as biographer, was born in Venice on this date in 1880. She was raised in great wealth but became a socialist in her teen years and ran away from her […]

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