Fondazione Centro Di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea (CDEC)

John R. Barruzza is a PhD candidate studying Modern European History at Syracuse University (New York, USA). Previously, he completed an MPhil in Modern European History at Syracuse University and an MA in European History at Villanova University (Pennsylvania, USA). His primary fields of research are modern and contemporary Italy, the Holocaust, and memory.

John’s dissertation, provisionally titled “From Mass Violence to Memory: Milano Centrale and the Holocaust in Italy,” explores Holocaust violence in history and memory by focusing on Milano Centrale, Milan’s central train station. Milano Centrale functioned as the city’s principal deportation center during the Holocaust and today is home to the Shoah Memorial of Milan (Il Memoriale della Shoah di Milano). In his project, John studies competing narratives and memories of the Holocaust in Italy and argues that the presence of the Shoah Memorial of Milan establishes Milano Centrale as a site of memory contestation. He hopes that his research can help provide better understandings of the character of Fascist anti-Semitism, the extent of Italian collaboration in the Holocaust, and the nature of Holocaust commemoration in Italy today.

From June to July 2018, John will use his EHRI Fellowship to conduct dissertation research at CDEC in Milan. There, he will explore archival documents pertaining to a selection of Jewish individuals and families who experienced persecution in Fascist Italy, deportation in the Italian Social Republic, and, for some, repatriation in the early postwar period.