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Following the controversy concerning the decision of Yad Vashem to change the caption on Pius XII in the permanent exhibition of the museum, the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan has made available an overview of the existing evidence on the behavior of Pope Eugenio Pacelli toward the situation of the Jews written by Liliana Picciotto. We publish here the English version as a contribution to the public debate.

Original Italian essay

Liliana Picciotto (Cairo 1947) is the director of the historical archive of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Milan.

She holds a degree in political science and specializes in the history of the Jews of Italy under Fascism and the Italian Social Republic.

Her research on the deportation of the Jews in Italy resulted in the publication of The Book of Memory, detailing the arrest, deportation and murder of some 8,600 Jews from Italy and the Italian territories.

She co-authored the documentary film Memoria, directed by Ruggero Gabbai, which presented to the public for the first time interviews to Italian survivors.

Picciotto also co-authored Destinazione Auschwitz, a multimedia project on the history of the Shoah that reconstructs the extermination camp of Auschwitz. She was the historical consultant for Roberto Faenza's film Jona who lived in the whale (1993) and for the RAI documentary Per ignota destinazione (1995).

In 2006, Picciotto published the book The Righteous of Italy which led to her most current research project of a comprehensive memory database of the strategies of survival during the fascist-nazi persecutions.

Her decade-long research on the concentration camp of Fossoli was published in 2010 by Modadori as The Dawn Came Upon Us Like a Betrayer: Jews in the Camp of Fossoli and is the most comprehensive study of primary and secondary sources on the subject.

Selected bibliography

L'occupazione tedesca e gli ebrei di Roma, Carucci, Roma, (1979)

Il libro della memoria - Gli ebrei deportati dall'Italia - Mursia, Milano, - (1991-1992-2002)

Gli ebrei in provincia di Milano 1943 - 1945, Provincia di Milano e CDEC, Milano, (1992)

Per ignota destinazione - Gli Ebrei sotto il nazismo, Mondadori, Milano, (1994)

I giusti d'Italia, Mondadori - Yad Vashem, Milano, (2006)

L'alba ci colse come un tradimento. Gli ebrei nel campo di Fossoli 1943-1944 (Mondadori, 2010)