Italian university dedicates garden to Jewish professor expelled in 1938

Enzo Bonaventura then emigrated to Jerusalem and was killed in one of the Arab attacks against the special convoys directed to Mount Scopus in 1948.

April 15, 2019 05:38

A view of Jerusalem's Mount Scopus . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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The University of Florence has dedicated a garden to a Jewish professor expelled after the promulgation of the 1938 racial laws that plagued the Jewish communities of the area at the time.

Enzo Bonaventura was born in Pisa in 1891.

When Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini passed his anti-Jewish legislation in 1938, he was the director of the psychology laboratory at the University of Florence.

After being expelled, the scholar emigrated to Jerusalem, where he was invited by Chaim Weizmann to join the faculty at Hebrew University, where he established the first psychology laboratory.

On April 13, 1948, Bonaventura was killed in attack perpetrated by Palestinians against a number of special convoys in the Mount Scopus region.

The garden commemorating Bonaventura is located in a very central area of the campus of the University of Florence, directly in the heart of the city.

“This initiative represents an opportunity for us to keep in mind what Primo Levi said: ‘It happened, therefore it can happen again’,” said the city council member Andrea Vannucci at the ceremony to dedicate the garden, which took place on Friday.

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