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Telescopes, Microscopes and Film Reels: Memory and History in Three Testimonies of Jewish Childhoods 1938–1945

Mirna Cicioni


Memory has a central place in Holocaust studies. I look at the role of memory and testimony in three autobiographical texts by Italian Jewish writers who, in their sixties, retrieved memories of their childhoods after the 1938 anti-Semitic laws: Una bambina e basta (Just a Young Girl; not translated into English) written in 1994 by Lia Levi, born in 1931; Per violino solo (translated into English as For Solo Violin in 2004) written in 1995 by Aldo Zargani, born in 1933; Di razza ebraica (translated into English as Of Jewish Race in 2014) written in 2005 by Renzo Modiano, born in 1936. The elderly narrators look back with compassion and humour at their experiences of exclusion, danger and fear, with occasional moments of human solidarity and childish playfulness.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.