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Jews in Nazi-Occupied Italy:
The Laws for the Defense of the Race

(November 11, 1938)


Jews in Italy: Table of Contents | Camps in Italy | Italian Public Opinion


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Corriere della Sera Newspaper
Milan, November 11, 1938

The Laws for the Defense of the Race approved by the Government

Mixed marriages forbidden - The definition of the “Jew,” the discriminations and annotations to the Civil State - The exclusion from the state and state controlled employment and those of public interest - The norms on elementary and junior high schools and the teachers.

Rome, November 10

The Government has gathered again this morning at 10 o'clock at the Viminale Palace, under the presidency of the Duce, with the presence of all the Ministries and the attendance of the undersecretary of State at the Minister of Interior. The secretary was the undersecretary of State at the Presidency of the Government.

The Government had approved on the proposal of the Duce, Minister of the Interior, a series of legal measures for the Defense of the Italian Race, of which the following is a summary:

First Chapter

Mixed marriages : Italian citizens may not marry members of the Hamitic, Semitic or non-Aryan races; government and public employees, civil and military, may not marry foreign women, no matter what their race; permission from the Ministry of the Interior must be obtained for the marriage of Italians, male and female, even with Aryan foreigners; measures against Italian citizens lowering the prestige of the race in the Empire will be made more severe.

Second Chapter

Definition of the Jewish race : The following are considered to be of the Jewish race: a person born from two Jewish parents; a person born of Jewish fathers and foreign (Aryan) mothers; a person born of mixed marriages who professes the Jewish religion, but not those who, as of 1 October 1938, profess another religion.

Servants and Jews : All those of the Jewish race may not have in any way Aryans as their servants in the house and as their employees.

Exemption from discrimination : No discrimination on the ground of race will be made against Jews of Italian citizenship belonging to the families of (a) men who died, who served as volunteers, or who received military decorations in the World War or in the Libyan, Ethiopian, or Spanish wars; (b) men who were killed or wounded in the Fascist cause or who enrolled in the Fascist Party in the years from 1919 to 1922 or during the second half of 1924 (i.e. after the Matteotti murder) or who were members of DAnnunzios Fiume Legions or persons having unusual merits, to be verified by a special commission.

Third Chapter

General dispositions : Jews dismissed from public positions shall be entitled to the usual pension right, if they worked for a minimum of ten years.

Foreign Jews : It is forbidden to the foreigners of the Jewish race to settle in Italy, Libya or in the colonial possessions in the Aegean; the Italian citizenship granted to Jewish foreigners after January 1, 1919 will have to be considered as revoked. Apart from controversial cases to be determinate by a commission of the Ministry of the Interior, foreign Jews who are over the age of 65 years old or who have married an Italian prior to 1 October 1938, shall not be expelled.

In addition to the 28 articles of the Laws for the Defense of the Race, the Fascist Government had approved on the proposal of the Duce, Minister of the Interior, a series of legal measures for the protection of the Italian schools, of which the following is a summary:

For the protection of the Italian schools : accordingly to this legal measure, all those of the Jewish race are forbidden to work and study in Public and Private Italian schools and the legal measure applies to all school ranks. There will be established Jewish elementary and junior high schools with teachers and students of the Jewish race.

Text books : All the study programs and text books in the school for students of the Jewish race will be the same used in the public Italian school, with the except of the teaching of the Catholic religion.


Sources: Yad Vashem

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