Preparation for Genocide: The "Center for the Study of the Jewish Problem" in Trieste, 1942–1944


In 1941 Fascist Italy established the so-called Centers for the Study of the Jewish Problem in an effort to develop an Italian variant of "spiritual racism" as a fitting counterpart to Nazi racial doctrine. The most active of the Centers was located in Trieste, home to one of Italy's largest Jewish communities. The institute's close ties with the German consulate and SS contingent played a crucial role in the assault on Trieste's Jewish population that began after German forces occupied northern Italy in 1943. While the Center served both propaganda and practical purposes, its key role lay in preparing the ideological groundwork for genocide.