- Holocaust Period According to the census of 1931, the Jewish community of Trieste had 4,671 members, including 3,234 Italians and 1,437 foreigners. Census data for 1938 recorded 5,381 Jews in Trieste, belonging for the most part to the lower and middle sectors of the middle class. The racial laws at the end of 1938 caused an initial period of disorientation, including many conversions, the withdrawal of membership of many Community leaders and members, and the emigration of most foreign Jews. By 1939, however, the elected council had been replaced by one appointed by the Italian government. In October 1941, the first visible acts of real intimidation occurred. The facade of the central temple of the German rite and the headquarters of the community in Via del Monte were defaced with antisemitic slogans and red ink. Vandalism and violence recurred in July 1942, when several Fascist squads devastated the temple and assaulted defenseless passers-by. Similar incidents occurred in May 1943, when Jewish and Slavic businesses and shops were sacked. By then, the Jewish community of Trieste had no more than 2,500 members. After the Italian armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943, and the German occupation of Italy, Trieste and the surrounding area were incorporated into the Adriatisches Kustenland and formally annexed as an integral part of the Reich, with dire consequences for the Jews. Not all Jews were able to go into hiding before a German Einsatzkommando initiated the first roundup of Jews on October 9. A second roundup occurred on October 29, and a third on January 20, 1944. During the latter event, Dr. Carlo Morpurgo, secretary of the community, remained at work in order not to abandon the elderly patients at the Jewish Pia Casa Gentilomo hospice. He was arrested and deported with them to Auschwitz, where he was murdered on November 4, 1944. In March 1944, other Jews recovering in various hospitals throughout the city, including the Regina Elena, the psychiatric hospital, and the hospital for the chronically ill, were seized. After being arrested, the Jews were taken to the Coroneo prison and, after February or March 1944, also to the Risiera di San Sabba, the only concentration camp with a crematorium in Italy. Some Jews arrested in Fiume, Venice, Padua, and Arbe were also sent to the Risiera. From October 1943 to February 1945, about 60 convoys left Trieste, all headed for the concentration camps of Central and Eastern Europe. According to estimates, Jews deported from the Adriatisches Kustenland numbered 1,235, of whom 708 were from Trieste. Of the latter, only 23 returned. Some Jews from Trieste joined the partisans and died in combat. Sergio Forti was killed in battle near Perugia on June 16, 1944; Rita Rosana died near Verona on September 17, 1944, at the age of 22; and Eugenio Curiel, a university teacher, was killed by Fascists in Milan on February 24, 1945, just a few weeks before the liberation. (Adonella Cedarmas (2nd ed.) After the war about 1,500 Jews remained in Trieste; by 1965 their number had fallen to 1,052, out of a total of 280,000 inhabitants, partly because of the excess of deaths over births. In 1969 the community, numbering about 1,000, operated a synagogue and a prayer house of the Ashkenazi rite, a school, and a home for the aged. In the early 21st century the Jewish population of Trieste was around 600. (Shlomo Simonsohn / Samuele Rocca (2nd ed.) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index; Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Bachi, in: Israel (Aug. 11–18, 1927); Colbi, ibid. (March 22, 1928); idem, in: RMI 17 (1951), 122–9; Curiel, ibid., 6 (1931/32), 446–72; Volli, ibid., 24 (1958), 206–14; Botteri and Carmiel, in: Trieste …, 6 (1959), May-June issue, 6–16; L. Buda, Vicende e notizie della comunità ebraica triestina nel Settecento (1969); H.D. Friedberg, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be Italyah (19562), 90. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. Catalan, La comunità ebraica di Trieste (1781 – 1914), Politica, società e cultura, Quaderni del dipartimento di storia, Università degli studi di Trieste (2000); S.G. Cusin, and P.C. Ioly Zorattini, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Itinerari ebraici, I luoghi, la storia, l'arte (1998), 108–71; L.C., Dubin, The Port Jews of Habsburg Trieste, Absolutist Politics and Enlightenment Culture (1999); M., Stock, Nel segno di Geremia, Storia della comunità israelitica di Trieste dal 1200 (1979); S. Bon, Gli Ebrei a Trieste 1930 – 1945. Identità, persecuzione, risposte (2000); S.G. Cusin and P.C.I. Zorattini, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Itinerari ebraici (1998).
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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