Posted on 21/02/2011
PhD History students Daniel Tilles and Salvatore Garau from Royal Holloway, University of London have had their first book Fascism and the Jews: Italy and Britain published this month.
The book grew out of a conference organised by the students with funding from the Royal Holloway Faculty Research Committee in 2008.
Daniel explains: “After finding out about the money that had been set aside for research activities and academic events we put together a proposal to hold a workshop on the subject of fascism, anti-Semitism and Jews in Italy and Britain, which was approved by the committee.
“But the project became far more ambitious than we'd envisaged, with the Italian Cultural Institute agreeing to host the event and a much higher calibre of speaker than we'd expected expressing interest in participating. The grant from the committee allowed us to cover the travel costs of these participants, meaning we were able to involve scholars from various institutions around the UK and, vitally given our subject area, from Italian universities.”
Daniel and Salvatore both felt that within the abundance of research into fascism over recent decades, little attention had been paid to the role of anti-Semitism within fascism's development. The book itself explores the ways in which interwar fascist movements incorporated anti-Semitism into their programmes and their reasons for doing so, as well as Jewish experiences of and responses to fascism in the two countries.
The editors have attempted to shift attention away from the dominant Nazi model, and trace how fascist anti-Semitism developed elsewhere. The ideas presented will also have important implications for the perception and study of contemporary neo-fascism and the ways in which it absorbs and exploits native prejudices towards certain minorities.
Daniel added: “It was a great experience at this stage of my career to be overseeing the editing process from start to finish. To be able to set out the theme and aims of the book, then collect together some excellent contributions and shape them into a coherent volume was extremely satisfying.
“We hope that the book will stimulate further research into this area, as well as into the experience of other groups that have been the target of fascism's exclusionary ultra nationalism and desire to homogenise society.”
For more information visit: http://royalholloway.academia.edu/DanielTilles/Books/409481/Fascism_and_the_Jews_Italy_and_Britain