Sunday 22 May – Talk by historian Alberto Cavaglion

Alberto Cavaglion, professor of Jewish history at the University of Florence will give a talk entitled Saint Martin Vesubie, Madonna del Colletto, Borgo San Dalmazzo: Autobiographical Souvenirs of Alberto Cavaglion. The event will be in French.

Between 8 and 18 September, 1943, major events intertwined in the Alpes-Maritimes and Piedmont: the escape across the Alps of the Jews of Saint Martin Vésubie, the German occupation of France and Italy, the birth of the Italian Resistance (banda Italia Libera in Madonna del Colletto), the establishment of the concentration camp in Borgo San Dalmazzo and and the start of the priest Don Raimondo Viale helping the hiding Jews.

Dr Cavaglion will shed light on different but converging points of observation: the Jews on the run, the first organization of the Resistance, the deportation to Auschwitz of 350 men, women and children, and the help given to families hidden in the Alpine valleys.

With the support of unpublished documents and viewing of the documentary by Don Giuseppe Pollarolo on the Banda Italia Libera.

The presentation will be by Zoom at 2pm EST (11am PST, 19:00 UK, 20:00 France and CET, 21:00 Israel).

About Alberto Cavaglion

Alberto Cavaglion teaches the history of Judaism at the University of Florence and is a member of the scientific committee of the Meis (Museo dell’Ebraismo italiano, Ferrara) and of the direction of the magazine La Rassegna Mensile di Israel.

In 2005, with the book La Resistenza spiegata a mia figlia (The Resistance explained to my daughter) (L’ancora del Mediterraneo), he won the Lo Straniero prize. Four editions of this book have been published (with Feltrinelli paperbacks since 2015, new edition 2021).

Dr Cavaglion wrote the first book documenting the history of the Jews in Saint Martin Vésubie in 1943 and their subsequent flight: Nelle Notte Straniera, Gli ebrei di S. Martin Vesubie e il campo di Borgo S. Dalmazzo. 8 settembre 1943 – 21 novembre 1943 (L’Arciere, Cuneo, 1981).

Among his most recent works are: (all in Italian)

  • Towards the promised land.’ Italian writers in Jerusalem from Matilde Serao to Pier Paolo Pasolini, Rome, Carocci 2016.
  • Guide to ‘If this is a man’ by Primo Levi, Carocci, 2020.
  • Decontaminating memories. Places, books, dreams, Add Editore, 2021.