January 27 - International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, the Bank of Italy marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day to remember the victims of the Holocaust and reaffirms its commitment to combat all forms of intolerance and discrimination. The date of 27 January was designated in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly to remember the victims of the Holocaust and it coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Among the victims were Jewish people, Slavs, Roma people, homosexuals, disabled people, and political dissidents.

The 'Jewish question' also affected the Bank of Italy at institutional level. Under a decree law of 1938, which the Bank and other public employers had to implement, 23 Jewish employees were fired. One of them was Giuseppe Nathan, son of Ernesto Nathan, a former mayor of Rome, who at that time was Head of one of the Bank's departments, after serving for a long period as the Bank's Delegate in London. In the wake of the Liberation of Rome, the dismissed employees were reinstated to their previous positions.

In his article 'Quando la Banca d'Italia si tolse la camicia nera' (When the Bank of Italy took off its black shirt), Alberto Martiello, Secretary General of the Bank of Italy, re-examines some of the episodes that affected the Bank of Italy in that period. A broader and more detailed reconstruction of dismissals for racial reasons in the banking and insurance sector is contained in the chapter entitled 'The investigation in the historic archives of the Banca d'Italia' in the General Report by the 'Commission responsible for reconstructing the events concerning the acquisition of Jewish assets in Italy by both public and private bodies' established by the Prime Ministerial Decree of 1 December 1998 and chaired by Tina Anselmi. How the Bank dealt with the racial laws was also addressed by Alfredo Gigliobianco (2006) in 'Via Nazionale. Banca d'Italia e classe dirigente. Cento anni di storia' (Via Nazionale. The Bank of Italy and the ruling class. One hundred years of history) in the 'Saggi, Storia e scienze sociali' series (Essays, History and Social Sciences), Donzelli Editore, and more recently by Gianni Toniolo (2022) in 'Storia della Banca d'Italia Tomo I. Formazione ed evoluzione di una banca centrale, 1893-1943' (History of the Bank of Italy – Volume I. Formation and evolution of a central bank, 1893-1943), Il Mulino.