Foundation Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center
The Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea CDEC onlus [Foundation Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center - CDEC - non profit social-utility organization (ONLUS)] is an independent Institute for Italian Jewish History and Culture. Founded in Milan, the Foundation is a non-profit organization, legally recognized by Italian Presidential Decree of 17 April 1990.
The Federation of Italian Jewish Youth established the Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea [Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center] (CDEC) in 1955 in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the liberation of Italy, the fall of the Fascist government of the Italian Social Republic, and the end of Nazi occupation. According to its first by-laws, the aim of the CDEC was "to seek out and collect documents relating to the persecution of Jews in Italy and the Jewish contribution to the Resistance" and to disseminate them. In 1986, the CDEC had grown significantly and was established as the Foundation Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center - CDEC (CDEC Foundation).
The current by-laws of the CDEC Foundation state that the Foundation is an independent Institute under the aegis of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) and that it is subject to the surveillance by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and UCEI.
The CDEC Foundation by-laws also state that:
The Foundation is a non profit organization.
The task of the Foundation is to promote study of Jewish history, culture and society, with special emphasis on Italy and contemporary times, and to collect all pertinent documentation.
The Foundation seeks to counter all forms of racism and anti-Semitism, and to promote and safeguard civil rights.
The Foundation preserves the memory of the Fascist and Nazi persecution of the Jews.
All historical, archival or bibliographic materials are preserved by the Foundation as an inalienable asset of Italian Jewry.
The CDEC Foundation is the principal institute for the study of Jewish history, culture and life, particularly in regard to the contemporary period in Italy, the Fascist and Nazi persecutions, contemporary anti-Semitism, world Jewish history and the worldwide role of Jewish culture.
In virtue of its special commitment to document, research and preserve the memory of the Shoah, the CDEC Foundation may be regarded as the "place of memory" for the thousands of Italian Jews who were deported and murdered.
The CDEC Foundation has five main activity areas:
Observatory on Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Prejudice in Italy;
Shoah Educational Activities.
Each area collects documentation and maintains a large archive of publications, papers, photographs, movies, and other materials. Each collection is unique in Italy.
The Library collections explore all aspects of the Jewish world presence. Its main topic is the history of Jews in Italy, focusing on Fascist and Nazi persecutions, the history of Jews in Europe and the world, the Shoah, Zionism and Israel, Jewish literature and art. It includes 25,000 volumes and 2,000 collections of periodicals. Most of the books and periodicals were published after 1850, with the bulk published after 1920. Italian, English and French are the main languages.
The Historical Archives , which the Italian Government has declared "of great historical interest", keep archival documents from Jewish organizations or individuals dating from 1850, historical testimonies from persecuted Jews, and other types of documentation. It covers over 180 linear meters of shelving. One of the most important research efforts by the Historical Archives is a database of the approximately 8,000 Jews deported from or killed in Italy during the Shoah.
The Video-Library collects historical documents, TV broadcasts and movies of Jewish subject-matter or interest. It contains over 6,000 videos.
The Observatory on Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Prejudice in Italy investigates, documents and studies race-based thought and behavior. It has been collecting testimony and documentation since the 1960s, and has amassed materials covering some 40 linear meters of shelving.
The Shoah Educational Activities area provides programs and materials for teaching and communicating the history and the memory of the Shoah.
In addition to its work as a document repository, the CDEC Foundation is committed to scientific research and its dissemination. As the institute for the history and documentation of contemporary Italian Judaism, CDEC has dealings with public and private institutions, Jewish organizations, Italian educational and research institutes, and international research centers on Jewish history and the Shoah. Since its establishment, it has provided testimony and materials in support of judicial actions against Nazi criminals in the Italian and German courts.
The CDEC Foundation is included on the list of the major Italian cultural institutes supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
*Liliana Picciotto, Il libro della memoria. Gli ebrei deportati dall'Italia 1943-1945. Ricerca della Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, 3° ed., Mursia, Milan 2002.
*Liliana Picciotto, Israel Gutman, Bracha Rivlin, I Giusti d'Italia. I non ebrei che salvarono gli ebrei 1943-1945, edizione italiana Mondadori, Milan 2006.
*Michele Sarfatti, Gli ebrei nell'Italia fascista. Vicende, identità, persecuzione, 2nd ed., Einaudi, Turin 2007; English ed. The Jews in Mussolini's Italy: from Equality to Persecution, translation by John and Anne C. Tedeschi, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison 2006.
*Michele Sarfatti, La Shoah in Italia. La persecuzione degli ebrei sotto il fascismo, Einaudi, Turin 2005.
MAJOR MULTIMEDIA WORKS
Memoria (1996), a documentary based on video-interviews of Italian Jews who had survived Auschwitz, by Marcello Pezzetti and Liliana Picciotto, directed by Ruggero Gabbai, produced by Forma Italiana, Italy 1997, 86 min. It was selected for the Berlin International Film Festival in 1997 and for the Jerusalem Film Festival in 1998.
Destinazione Auschwitz; book + 2 CD-ROMs, Proedi, Milan 2000. Multimedia work, with virtual reconstruction of the extermination camp at Auschwitz. In 2001 it was awarded the prestigious "Innovation Prize" by the European Commission.
The Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org
Historical Archives: email@example.com
Observatory on Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Prejudice in Italy:
Shoah Educational: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via Eupili 8, 20145 Milan, Italy
Tel +39 02-316338/316092
Fax +39 02-33602728
Free access (identity card required)
Open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, closed on Jewish and public holidays and in August.
For the history of the CDEC Foundation, see:
Roberto Bassi, Ricordo di Massimo Adolfo Vitale. Dal Comitato Ricerche Deportati Ebrei al Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, in "La rassegna mensile di Israel", v. XLV, n. 1-3 (January-March 1979), pp. 8-21.
Liliana Picciotto Fargion, Eloisa e il CDEC, in "La rassegna mensile di Israel", v. XLVII, n. 1-3 (January-June 1981), pp. 9-44.
Klaus Voigt, Das Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea in Mailand, in "Zibaldone. Zeitschrift fuer italienische Kultur der Gegenwart", n. 22, 1996, pp. 51-62.
Michele Sarfatti, La Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, in M. Sarfatti (ed.), Funzioni dei Centri di storia e cultura ebraica nella società contemporanea. Atti del convegno - Milano, 3 febbraio 1997, Librificio-Proedi editore, Milan 1998, pp. 45-50.
CDEC's regular yearly budget and specific projects are funded by Jewish institutions, Italian Ministries, bank foundations, and private and public funds.
As a non profit organization, the CDEC Foundation is authorized to receive:
*Tax-deductible donations (according to Italian law);
*Legacies and donations.
Banca Intermobiliare, Corso Matteotti 5, Milano;
Bank account in the name of Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea CDEC,