San Rossore 1938: Sant’Anna School conference and multimedia exhibition commemorate the “Interrupted Lives” of Jewish academics and students banned from university. Students recall victims of persecution 80 years after the imposition of racial laws

Academics and students in Pisa will mark the 80th anniversary of the imposition of the racial laws in Italy with a studious approach by implementing initiatives to create a virtual memorial using audio-visual, photographs and documentary elements collected by Mario Benvenuti. Thanks to Paolo Benvenuti, film director, son of Mario Benvenuti, commemorative events will include seminars and exhibitions for a reconstruction of the “Interrupted Lives” of professors and students banned from universities and schools in 1938.

The events to commemorate “San Rossore 1938” received the support of Scuola Normale Superiore, Sant’Anna School, Scuola IMT Alti Studi Lucca and Fondazione Pisa. After the commemoration ceremony, “Remembrance and Apologies Ceremony”, held on 20 September 2018 in the Sapienza building, a conference and a multimedia exhibition were announced to take place on October 15 at Sant’Anna School, 9.00 am and 5.30 pm.

On 5 September 1938, at his Tuscan residence in San Rossore, King Victor Emmanuel III signed the act 1381 for the Defence of the Race: the Royal Decree Law concerning Jews of foreign nationality. The law supported discrimination against Jews in Italy. Italian universities responded to anti-Semitism with complicity and collaboration; Pisa University expelled 20 professors and over 200 Jewish students.

On 15 October 2018, at 9.00 am, Pierdomenico Perata, rector of Sant’Anna School,  Vincenzo Barone, director of Scuola Normale Superiore, Paolo Mancarella, rector of University of Pisa; professors Ilaria PavanBarbara Henry and Michele Emdin, students and alumni Alberto Aimo, Silvia Barbiero, Chiara Borrelli, Vincenzo Castiglione, Laura and Simona Grazioli, Lorenzo Mangone, Giorgio Motisi, Michele Pajero, together with Michele Battini, president of the Committee organizing the “San Rossore 1938” events, Salvatore Settis, former director of Scuola Normale, Dario Disegni, president of MEIS (Italian Museum of Judaism and Shoah), will publicly commemorate the victims of race hatred.

On October 15, at 5.30pm, the multimedia exhibition “Interrupted Lives” curated by Gianni LucchesiChiara Evangelista, Michele Emdin, Ursula Ferrara and Massimo Bergamasco will be officially open to the public. This exhibition, as a storytelling medium in which documentary elements (this VR experience consists of computer graphic scenes that surround the viewers, placing them at four different locations) are used to illustrate past events, can tell us about human experience in times past.

Multimedia exhibition “Interrupted Lives” hosted in the San'Anna School Church will open on October 15 at 5.30 pm. Exhibition will be on disply from October 15 to November 8, Mon-Fri, 10.00 – 12.00 and 16.00-18.00 (for information call 050 883245 working hours); admission free.