ADL revokes honour for ‘righteous gentile’ who helped Mussolini

ADL national director Abraham H Foxman

ADL national director Abraham H Foxman

The Anti-Defamation League has announced that one of the annual awards it gives for leadership in the fight against extremism will no longer be named after discredited righteous gentile Giovanni Palatucci.

Researchers at the Centro Primo Levi in New York have discovered that Mr Palatucci, honoured by Yad Vashem and Pop John Paul II for purportedly saving 5,000 Jews during the Holocaust, was a Nazi collaborator.

The scholars, who have studied almost 700 documents, concluded that Mr Palatucci was “a willing executor of the racial legislation and – after taking the oath to Mussolini’s Social Republic, collaborated with the Nazis.”

In a letter to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which has now removed entries involving Mr Palatucci from its exhibits, executive director Dr Natalia Indrimi said: “If anything, Giovanni Palatucci represents the silence, self-righteousness and compliance of many young Italian officers who enthusiastically embraced Mussolini in his last disastrous steps.”

ADL national director Abraham H Foxman has stated: “We know now what we did not know then, which is that Giovanni Palatucci was not the rescuer he was made out to be.”

The Giovanni Palatucci Courageous Leadership Award was handed to Italian and American law enforcement officers who showed leadership in the fight against extremism, racism and terrorism.

Last updated: 5:14pm, June 25 2013