Ettore Ovazza and Benito Mussolini
Ettore Ovazza was one of three brothers born into a wealthy and influential family in Turin. The Ovazza were one of Italy’s leading banking families with all the privilege and power that comes with it.
Ettore was born in 1892 and grew up with everything early 20th century Italy had to give. He wanted for nothing.
The Ovazza were Jewish. At the time Jews living in Italy were the most assimilated in Europe. Of course there were few of them – perhaps 0.01% of the population in this predominantly Roman Catholic country.
Italian Jews benefitted from the absence of legal and social disadvantages that existed elsewhere. They spoke Italian or the local dialect rather than the Yiddish or Ladino that many of their European coreligionists spoke. They were engaged in politics, served at high rates in the military, and found success in every skilled…
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