Cosenza, January 16 - The efforts of a gay Italian Fascist to hide and protect a Jewish friend during the Second World War era are the subject of a new book and play written by journalist Mario Campanella. Titled The Human Race, the novel will be published this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the introduction of Italy's racial laws, says Campanella, who hails from Italy's southern Calabria region. The idea was hatched from a chance meeting between the journalist and some survivors of the period. Campanella says that seven years ago, a friend who lived near Tarsia, where an internment camp was based, repeated an old story told by his grandfather. Efforts to find supporting documents were fruitless but he eventually met some of the principle actors in the events that inspired his work. "It is a beautiful story because it is deeply Italian and full of beautiful contradictions," says Campanella. "The Fascist hosting the Jew, but also the homosexual who is forced to live in silence" about his sexual orientation. Italy's racial laws of 1938 focused on the Jewish population, stripping members of Italian citizenship.
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di Giovanni Pastore