Lidia Santarelli

European University Institute


Jews under Italian occupation: the case of Greece


Lidia Santarelli received her Ph. D. (2005) from the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute, Florence, with a dissertation on the Italian occupation of Greece during the Second World War. As Hannah Seeger Davis post-doctoral fellow in the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University (2005-2006), she expanded and revised her thesis for publication as a book-length study; in particular, she completed research on the process of forced Italianization of the Ionian Islands in the years 1941-1943. While at Columbia, she will complete the final stages of this book project entitled "End of the Empire. Fascist War and Occupation of Greece 1940-43."
As a research fellow at the Italian Academy for the academic year 2006-2007, she is carrying out new research for a project entitled "Diplomacy of Aid, Living Space, and the Holocaust: Fascist Italy and the Jews in the Axis-occupied Europe. The Case of Salonika." Based on a vast array of unpublished historical documents, this research explores the controversial policy through which Fascist Italy addressed Jewish communities residing within the territories occupied by the Axis Powers, focusing on both Rhodes and Salonika, the city that housed one of the largest Jewish communities in all of interwar Europe.
Prior to arriving in the United States, she served as Adjunct Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Rome La Sapienza and History of South-Eastern Europe at the University of L'Aquila, where she taught several courses on social and political conflicts in Axis-occupied Europe, Italian Fascism, nations and nationalism in the Balkans, cultures of war, human rights, and globalization. From 1999 to 2002, she was a member of the Research Project on "The Impact of the Nazi and Fascist Rule in Europe, 1938-1950," sponsored by the European Science Foundation. Her research interests include war and society, civil war and ethnic conflicts, Fascist culture and ideology, war crimes, international politics, and systems of occupation, as well as memory and oblivion of traumatic past in transitional periods. She has published widely on the topics related to her research work.