NEW YORK — Research showing that Giovanni Palatucci, the “Italian Schindler,” was a Nazi collaborator rather than a hero has spurred several Jewish groups to remove honors in his name.
Historians at the Centro Primo Levi at the Center for Jewish History in New York confirmed last week that Palatucci, an Italian police chief credited with saving thousands of Jewish lives in the northern Italy town of Fiume, was a Nazi collaborator.
In response, the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington removed the case study exhibit on its website and plans to remove any mention of Palatucci’s name from its physical exhibition.
The Anti-Defamation League in a news release said it revoked the Giovanni Palatucci Courageous Leadership Award that the organization has granted since 2007 to Italian and American law officials with exemplary leadership service. The ADL said it plans to bestow the same honor in a different name.
The ADL also voided its 2005 Courage to Care Award given to Palatucci.
The Yad Vashem Holocaust center said it would examine the research and reconsider the Righteous Among the Nations status it awarded to Palatucci in 1990 for his supposed rescue of Jews. The Vatican also is looking into the matter.