You are here

Event
Symposium

Holocaust Remembrance: “Unnatural Indecency”: Sexuality and Homosexuality during Nazism and Fascism

Watch video below. 

Europe and the United Nations commemorate the victims of the Shoah each winter on the date of Auschwitz's liberation in 1945, and the Italian Academy marks Holocaust Remembrance Day with an annual academic event exploring issues of discrimination and crimes against humanity.

Last year, the Academy broadened its focus to explore another minority group that was targeted in the racism and xenophobia of the Nazi and Fascist regimes, and that suffered and died along with the millions of Jews: the Roma and Sinti (known as Gypsies), who were also judged to be "racially inferior." This year, our Holocaust Remembrance will focus on sexuality and homosexuality in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Thousands of men, primarily, were victims of state persecution and violence: arrested, institutionalized in mental hospitals, castrated, or imprisoned in jails or concentration camps where they succumbed to starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder.
Speaker Bios

Elizabeth Leake is professor, Acting Chair, and Director of Graduate Studies in the Italian Department at Columbia. Her research interests include Twentieth Century narrative and theatre, psychoanalytic and ideological studies in Italian literature, fascist Italy, Italian cinema, and early Danish cinema. She is a recipient of the Modern Language Association Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies for her book The Reinvention of Ignazio Silone (2003) and The National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars 2001. Her latest book, After Words: Suicide and Authorship in Twentieth Century Italy, was published in February of this year, and she is co-authoring another entitled Representing Confino.

Edward (Ted) Phillips joined the Museum in 1994 and has been Director of the Division of Exhibitions since June 2008. Throughout his career at the Museum, he has been a member of the curatorial teams for special and traveling exhibitions, and has worked on nearly 40 exhibition projects. He also helped develop and edit educational and exhibition publications that accompanied several of the major exhibitions. Ted earned a Ph.D. in Russian and Early Modern European History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Museum, he taught Russian history at the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. Between 2000 and 2002, Ted curated the Museum’s traveling exhibition Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945.

____________

Remembrance Symposia at the Academy since 2008

(Talks marked with an
* appear in the Academy's 2016 book, Present and Future Memory: Holocaust Studies at the Italian Academy, 2008–2016)

2008 Law and Science in the Service of Racism: the “Leggi Razziali”
Speakers:
Ruth Ben-Ghiat
New York University
The Italian Racial Laws: Pretexts, Subtexts, Aftermaths
Lidia Santarelli
New York University
The Righteous Enemy?
Fascist Italy and the Jews in Axis-Occupied Europe

Alexander Stille
Columbia University
The Holocaust and the Case of Italy

2009 Anti-Semitism at Home and Abroad
Speakers:
Ira Katznelson
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University
The Liberal Alternative: Jews in the United States during the Decades of Italian Fascism *
Claudio Lomnitz [originally scheduled]
Director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Professor, Anthropology Department, Columbia University
Dreyfus in Latin America: Anti-Semitism and the Ideology of the Mexican Revolution

2010 Rome’s Jewish Ghetto
Speakers:
Kenneth Stow
Professor of Jewish History Emeritus, University of Haifa
“Doing as the Romans Do” . . . But Also Staying Jewish.
The Challenge of Life in the Roman Ghetto, 1555–1870
*
Irina Oryshkevich
Society of Fellows, Columbia University
Accommodating the Jews in the “New Jerusalem” *

2011 “Racially Inferior”: Roma, Sinti, and Other Holocaust Victims
Speakers:
Krista Hegburg
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
“Unknown Holocaust”: Roma and Sinti in Hitler’s Europe
Robert Kushen
Executive Director, European Roma Rights Centre
Roma in Today’s Europe: Contemporary Patterns of Prejudice and Discrimination *

2012 “Unnatural Indecency”: Sexuality and Homosexuality during
Nazism and Fascism

Speakers:
Ted Phillips
Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 *
Elizabeth Leake
Department of Italian, Columbia University
Fascism and Sexuality in Italian Literature and Film

2013 “The Unfit”: Disability under Nazism and Fascism
Speakers:
Patricia Heberer Rice
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Giving a Face to Faceless Victims: Profiles of Disabled Victims of the Nazi “Euthanasia” Program *
Susan Bachrach
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race *
David Forgacs
New York University
Photographing Places of Social Exclusion

2014 Gender and Anti-Semitism: Women’s Rights Yesterday and Today
Speakers:
Victoria de Grazia
Columbia University
Fascist Men and Jewish Women
Yasmine Ergas
Columbia University
Women’s Rights and Women’s Freedoms: A View from the Present *
Elissa Bemporad
Queens College of the City University of New York
Female Voices of the Holocaust

2015 Music, Fascism, and the Holocaust
Speakers:
Michael Beckerman
New York University
Moravia and the Wild Goose: Terezin, Summer 1944
Harvey Sachs
Curtis Institute of Music
Jewish and Anti-Fascist Musicians in Mussolini’s Italy *

2016 To Be a Child during the Holocaust
Speakers:
Patricia Heberer Rice
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
In Their Own Words: The World of the Child during the Holocaust *
Emily Langer
The Washington Post
“We Are Very Lucky”: Two Young Italian Sisters Who Survived Auschwitz

2017 Looted Art, Nazism, and Fascism
Speakers:
Monica Dugot
Senior Vice President/International Director of Restitution, Christie's;
formerly Deputy Director, Holocaust Claims Processing Office, NY State Banking Department
Jasmin Hartmann
Department for Provenance Research, City of Düsseldorf
"Non signalés par les Anglais." Provenance research on French drawings acquired in France in 1944
Ilaria Pavan
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa; Italian Academy Fellow 2017
Jewish persecution and looted art in Italy: evidence and denial, 1938–2015
Moderator:
Lynn Rother
Senior Provenance Specialist, The Museum of Modern Art

2018 Spaces and Geographies of Concentration Camps: How to Preserve the Memory of Discrimination
Speakers:
Lisa Ackerman
Executive Vice President, World Monuments Fund
Remembering a Difficult Past
Alberto Giordano
Chair, Geography Dept., Texas State University
From the National to the Individual: Narratives of the Holocaust in Italy