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«Ognuno prese la sua strada»: gli ebrei di Rodi, il Congo, la Shoah, 1920-1960
Between the 1920s and the 1960s, almost 2.000 Jews from the island of Rhodes migrated to Congo, particularly to the region of Katanga and its capital Elisabethville. The migration was due to economic reasons, and then to the impact of the 1938 Italian anti-Jewish laws. In the mid-1940s, also several Holocaust survivors from Rhodes settled in Congo, where a Jewish community continued to exist and thrive until the early 1960s. Basing on literary and archival sources, as well as on oral testimonies, this article explores the history of this little-known migration and the social and economic activities that the Jews of Rhodes conducted in Katanga. By doing so, it sheds light on the historical and memorial interconnections between colonialism and the Holocaust, Jewishness and whiteness in crucial decades both for the history of Congo and of the Jews of the Mediterranean.
Keywords: Congo, Rhodes, Jewish history, colonialism, Holocaust