Stanford University
CESTA
Arrests of Italian Jews, 1943-1945
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Arrests of Italian Jews, 1943-1945
About this Visualization

Between September 1943 and March 1945, some 10,000 Jews were arrested in Italy and deported to Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Only about 800 survived; the vast majority of them perished in Auschwitz.

The objective of this visualization is to help discover, describe, and explain the spatio-temporal patterns of the Holocaust in Italy. By animating and interacting with this visualization, you can examine how patterns of arrest varied spatially and temporally. In general, places of arrest corresponded to major Jewish population centers, but notable exceptions existed, and a considerable proportion of arrests occurred as many Jews fled their homes or—in the case of foreign-born Jews—their place of internment in order to escape deportation. As a result, many victims were arrested in transit or near border crossings.

Jews constituted a tiny minority of the Italian population (about 0.1% in the late 1930s), but large Jewish communities existed in Rome, Venice, Trieste, Florence, Ferrara, Turin, and other cities in the north and central parts of the country. The hunt for Jews was initially organized and carried out by the Germans, but Italian participation was fundamental to its long-term "success." We found that victims' experiences differed significantly depending on socio-demographic characteristics (e.g., gender and age) and the nationality of the arresting party (Germans vs. Italians), in ways that were sometimes unexpected.

By using this visualization we hope you are able to explore some of these patterns and to discover your own, raising questions about the actions of the perpetrators and understanding more deeply the experience of the victims.

Data note: The dataset for this visualization includes 6,116 names of individuals who were arrested between September 1943 and February 1945. Missing from the analysis are Jews who were arrested in the Greek island of Rhodes, killed in massacres, committed suicide, or for whom no spatial information is available.

Data source: Liliana Picciotto Fargion. Il Libro della Memoria. Gli Ebrei deportati dall'Italia (1943-1945). Milan: Mursia, 2002.

How to Use this Visualization

Using the Map
The map represents the distribution of arrests each month. Circle sizes reflect total number of arrests and circle colors show, on average, how far the victims were from home. By rolling over points on the map, you can examine more details of each site and explore how the identity of victims and perpetrators varied at different arrest sites.

Using the Time Slider
The time slider allows you to adjust the time period. As a default, it is set to one month, but you can adjust the left and right sides of the time slider to show longer time periods. By pressing the forward and back buttons above the timeline you can move the slider one month in either direction.

Using the Scatterplot
The scatterplot shows a distribution of all arrest locations on total arrests and average distance from home. The plot is selectable: you can roll over individual points, or you can draw a selection rectangle around several points to see the distribution of points on the map.

An Example
Expand the time slider to view the entire time period and select sites on the plot with high numbers of arrest and long distance from home (or unknown). What kinds of sites would you expect to see highlighted? These are generally internment camps and border crossings, but other sites make us ask additional questions. For example, can you determine why nearly sixty Jews were arrested in Castelnuovo Garfagnana in November 1943? By selecting this site, you can see that the victims were primarily middle-aged adults with children who were arrested by Italian authorities.


















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