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Whose condemned men? Witnessing, suffering and forgetting in post-Cold War Turin

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Abstract:

In recent years increased academic attention has been paid to the Catholic Church and its complicated role in relation to Fascism and the Holocaust in Italy. At the same time the end of the Cold War and the rise of the Right in Italian politics have challenged traditional readings of the Resistance. Within the context of these debates, this article considers a case study from Turin in which a priest's very public witnessing of partisan events has subtly contributed to the creation of a new and heroic myth concerning the Church's role in the Resistance at a time in which Resistance celebration was under threat. The article aims to shed light on the power of public witnessing in consolidating and constructing discourses of heroism and redemption and it focuses particularly on the mechanisms by which these public confessions and commemorations trigger elaborate forms of collective forgetting.

Keywords: CHURCH; FORGETTING; HOLOCAUST; ITALY; MEMORY; RESISTANCE; SUFFERING; TESTIMONY; TURIN; WITNESSING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/jrs.2009.090304

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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