Jews in forced labor in Gorizia in the Italian-occupied territories
Pictured above are Jews working in forced labor in Gorizia in September 1942. Gorizia, on the Yugoslavian border (today Slovenia), close to the Adriatic Sea, was part of the Italian-occupied territories. Though these Jews were taken for forced labor, they were not deported to the death camps in Poland that were functioning at this time.
After Italy joined World War II in June 1940, Italian anti-Jewish policy worsened. New decrees against the Jews were added to the racial laws of 1938 and an antisemitic propaganda campaign began. However, in order to express their independence from the Germans, their stronger ally upon whom they were dependent, the Italians refused to deport the Jews to the east from the territories they occupied in 1940-41 in France, Yugoslavia and Greece.
Mussolini’s regime collapsed in October 1943, and the Germans conquered most of Italy and began deporting Italian Jewry to the concentration and death camps. Approximately one-fifth of 44,000 Jews living in Italy were sent to the concentration and death camps.
Yad Vashem Photo Archives 4613/82