« Né à Nice au début du XIXe siècle, fils d'un officier de marine italien, Giuseppe Garibaldi rêve très tôt d'aventures, et choisit de prendre la mer ».
« Au cours de ses périples de jeunesse, il embrasse les idées du révolutionnaire Giuseppe Mazzini pour l'unification de l'Italie, la République et l'indépendance ».
« Sa participation à une tentative d'insurrection, en 1834 à Gênes, lui vaut une condamnation à mort par contumace et un long exil en Amérique du Sud ».
« Au Brésil, notamment, où il rencontre sa femme Anita, mais aussi en Uruguay, il met son notable talent de guerrier au service des luttes émancipatrices du continent. C'est d'ailleurs en défendant Montevideo, avec d'autres immigrés italiens, contre les appétits du Brésil et de l'Argentine, qu'il revêt pour la première fois la chemise rouge, qui deviendra le symbole des engagés volontaires lors de la troisième guerre d'indépendance italienne ».
« Ponctué de scènes reconstituées et d'entretiens avec des spécialistes (dont l'arrière-petit-fils du héros, Giuseppe Garibaldi Junior), ce documentaire s'attache à peindre, au-delà de l'enchaînement des événements, la personnalité contradictoire du héros du Risorgimento (l’unification italienne) ».
« Il dévoile ainsi une série de petits faits moins célèbres que le tribut garibaldien à la grande histoire de son siècle, de l'oreille, peut-être coupée pour vol de chevaux, que le grand homme aurait dissimulée sous ses cheveux longs à ses nombreuses conquêtes féminines ».
Les Juifs et Garibaldi
« Les Juifs italiens firent l’expérience de l’émancipation pendant le Risorgimento. Comme Arnaldo Momigliano et Antonio Gramsci l’ont chacun noté, les Juifs sont devenus « italiens » au même moment que les habitants de Milan, Florence, Turin et Gênes, aussi leur participation au Risorgimento fut-elle généreuse et ouverte. Les trois pères de l’Italie moderne, Cavour, Mazzini et Garibaldi, étaient tous les trois philosémites. Comme Susan Zuccotti l’a signalé, deux Juifs sont devenus conseillers municipaux de Rome en 1870, aussitôt que le ghetto fut dissous ; trois Juifs ont été élus au premier parlement d’une Italie presqu’unie en 1861, neuf ont servi avant 1870 et onze avant 1874. Ernesto Nathan devint maire de Rome en 1907, seulement trente-sept ans après l’ouverture du ghetto. Michaelis a certainement raison de déclarer : « Aussi tard qu’en 1848, il n’y avait pas en Europe un pays où les restrictions imposées aux Juifs fussent plus odieuses ; vingt-deux ans après, il n’y avait pas un endroit dans le monde où la liberté du culte fût plus réelle, ou les préjugés religieux si minimes ». L’Italie a nommé le premier Premier ministre juif d’Europe, Luigi Luzzatti, vingt-six ans avant que Léon Blum occupe cette fonction en France, et le premier ministre de la Défense, Giuseppe Ottolenghi, qui avait déjà été le premier général juif en 1888. » (Franklin Hugh Adler, "Pourquoi Mussolini fit-il volte-face contre les Juifs ?", dans Raisons politiques 2006/2 (no 22), pages 175 à 194)
« Garibaldi a écrit un roman intitulé I Mille, dont la valeur littéraire est limitée, mais dont le contenu idéologique est fort intéressant dans le cadre d’une étude sur les oppositions au processus unitaire. Publié en 1874, ce récit rend compte de la fameuse expédition des Mille ; mais c’est avant tout un roman qui propose une fiction autour d’une héroïne que Garibaldi présente comme faisant partie des Mille. Née de son imagination foisonnante, cette jeune guerrière, au centre du récit, est là pour délivrer un message qui tient à cœur à Garibaldi, déçu par une Unité qu’il considère comme incomplète et inachevée, à cause notamment des méfaits du clergé et de la papauté sur la société, l’histoire et la mentalité italiennes. L’une des protagonistes du roman est en effet une jeune juive, violée par un jésuite et convertie de force. Elle symbolise l’Italie malmenée par l’Église, rétrograde et meurtrière, qui représente les forces conservatrices et réactionnaires qui ont longtemps freiné une Unité dont les résultats, même après 1870, ne convainquent pas le vieux républicain. » (Sophie Nezri-Dufour, « “La peste pretina, piaga della nostra patria infelice” (Garibaldi, I Mille, 1874) », Italies [En ligne], 15 | 2011, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2013, URL : http://journals.openedition.org/italies/3064 ; DOI : 10.4000/italies.3064)
LES JUIFS ET L'UNITE ITALIENNE
Dans "The Double Bond" (The New York Times, 16 juin 2002), Carole Angierjune a écrit :
"As the ghettos of Piedmont had been the last to be enclosed, so they were the first to be opened: in 1848, as part of the Risorgimento, the great movement towards Italian independence and unification, which began in Turin. And finally, from all the towns and villages of Piedmont the freed Jews began to flow into the city. The provincial centres of Jewish life for so many generations emptied; and by the end of the nineteenth century Turin's Jewish population had doubled, to around 4,000. Among them were Primo Levi's maternal grandmother, from Alessandria, and his maternal grandfather, from Casale.Interviewé par Manfred Gerstenfeld, Dan V. Segre a évoqué le rôle des Juifs dans l'Histoire de l'Italie dans "The Roles of the Jews in Italian Society" (JCPA, 17 janvier 2010) :
It is a classic Jewish joke (which is of course quite serious) to ask of every possible event, large and small, ‘Is it good for the Jews?’ The Risorgimento was good for the Jews. It was a liberal, secular, enlightened movement, all three of whose great leaders, Mazzini, Garibaldi and Cavour, were philosemites; and it had already freed them. Not surprisingly, therefore, Jews were among the most passionate supporters of a united Italy; and none more so than the Jews of Piedmont, where the Risorgimento was based and began. Among Garibaldi's famous Mille (One Thousand) were eight Jews, when the Jewish population of Italy was less than one per 1,000; the Piedmontese Cavour, architect of unification, had a Piedmontese Jewish secretary, Isacco Artom.
In 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed under Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, with its capital and Parliament in Turin. After three short years history moved on, the capital was moved to Florence, and finally, with full unification in 1870, to Rome. But the Turinese — who, some say, have never got over their loss of the capital — to this day feel a special pride as the founders of modern Italy; and this pride, and perhaps also this sense of loss, is deeply shared by Turin Jews. Arnaldo Momigliano, the great Turinese Jewish historian, remembers that his grandmother was so intensely patriotic that she cried every time she heard the anthem of the Italian monarchy (even though, he adds, the music is so awful that ‘if you can cry at that, you can cry at anything’).
It is, therefore, also unsurprising that from 1861 — indeed, from 1848 — there was an extraordinary flowering of Jewish participation in Italian culture. The great Jewish gift which history has always acknowledged, Primo said ('Perhaps the only one'), is literacy, for it is a duty for every Jew to be able to read the Bible. In the second half of the nineteenth century the great majority of Italians were still illiterate; and this gave their newly-born fellow citizens their chance. Within one or two generations Italian Jews had transformed themselves from small provincial traders, moneylenders and rabbis to metropolitan professionals, particularly in the professions of writing and the Word: government service, the law, the universities, journalism. Turinese Jews distinguished themselves most of all in the University, especially in the sciences. Until 1938 the whole of Italy was famous for the numbers of Jews who reached the highest positions in the land: in government, where there were nineteen Jewish senators by 1920, and two Jewish prime ministers (though one, Sidney Sonnino, had become a Protestant); in the army, where Jews could even become generals, and several Piedmontese Jews did; in the navy, which after the racial laws of 1938 found itself having to expel its two top commanders. One of the most eminent newspapermen in newly united Italy was a Jew called Primo Levi, who had been such a tireless supporter of the Risorgimento that Garibaldi sent him his own personal thanks. On the wall of his study in Turin the second Italian Jewish writer called Primo Levi hung a copy of Garibaldi's letter to the first — lightly expressing, in the pun on his name, his own Jewish pride in liberal, enlightened Italy."
“One cannot understand the contemporary position of Italy’s Jews without considering the country’s history since the nineteenth century. Paradoxically, one of the obstacles to the creation of an Italian nation was the Risorgimento itself. This national movement politically united the peninsula, but failed to create the Italians. As an ideological and cultural movement it started in the decades after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. This assembly had restored the array of small states that existed before the occupation by Napoleon’s France.
“Subsequently Italian nationalists sought a political agglomeration of the various Italian areas, some of which, in the north of the peninsula, were occupied by the Austrians. One of the fighting slogans against the Austrian occupiers was ‘Viva Verdi.’ It did not refer so much to the composer as to the king from the House of Savoy, Vittorio Emanuele Rex (d’) Italia (Victor Emanuel, King of Italy).
“Italian unity was realized by the army of the Royal House of Savoy, which ruled in the area of Piedmont, Savoy (till 1860), Liguria, and Sardinia – with Turin as the capital. With the help of Giuseppe Garibaldi, this army conquered the other parts of the Italian peninsula. People were induced to join the nationalists either through military conquest itself, in the south and the Papal States, or through plebiscites in the north. Only the educated citizens of Piedmont spoke Italian. The rest preferred to use Piedmontese – a mixed Italian-French dialect – till the beginning of the twentieth century. Although most of the inhabitants of the peninsula were indifferent to the Risorgimento, and the Christian aristocracy of the old states was hostile to the new Italian kingdom, they were given no choice.
“The old Italian states, including the Republic of Venice – transferred by force by Napoleon to the Austrian Empire – that existed before the unification had all had a much longer political and cultural history than Piedmont. What would contemporary Italy be without Florence or Naples, or Rome where the pope ruled?”
The Role of the Jews
“The Jews were a factor not only because they had lived in Italy many centuries before the unification of the country but because of their higher level of education and an active, albeit loose interconnection among them. In the early stages of the Risorgimento, correspondence in Hebrew, often hidden in kosher food was used by Jewish members of secret patriotic societies to foil the Austrian police as well as that of the old states.
“During the Risorgimento the Jews were the most active group in favor of Italian unification. The reason was simple: all other states were aristocratic and Catholic and did not leave the Jews a place in society. Piedmont was the only liberal bourgeois state. It was secular – or at least opposed the rule of the Church. Hence it represented a clear choice for the Jews, however divided they were between supporters of the Savoy dynasty and of a republic under Mazzini’s leadership. In both cases they turned into a kind of useful notability, especially in Piedmont where they formed a devoted cultural, ideological, and economic group in support of the House of Savoy, obtaining high positions in the military, the new administration, and the arts.
“In retrospect, 20 September 1870 was a crucial date for the Jews in Italy. On that day the Piedmontese army occupied Rome. The new rulers of a united Italy then had to replace the stories of the older Italian states with a new one founded on two myths. One was inspired by Rome as capital and successor of the Roman Empire; the other by Rome no longer as capital of the Papal State but of Christianity. The Jews could not be part of either vision, and thus lost the very special position they had attained during the Risorgimento.”
Expelled from National Consciousness
“Little by little the Jews were expelled from Italian national consciousness. They did not notice the change as it was not immediately apparent. In 1909, the number of Jewish parliamentarians in Italy was larger than in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, or France even though all these then had Jewish populations tens of times larger than Italy’s. There were then about thirty-three thousand Italian Jews out of a general population of thirty-three million.
“Jews also were strongly represented in the military. They joined Garibaldi’s militias and, as already mentioned, were members of many secret societies in the old states that favored Italian unity. Jews actively participated in the Risorgimento in numbers totally disproportionate to their part in the general population. By the end of the nineteenth century there were twenty-eight Jewish generals and eight admirals in the Italian military, plus a large number of commissioned officers in active service or in the reserves.
“Under Mussolini in 1934-1935, the most prestigious aristocratic mounted artillery regiment stationed in the town of Udine was commanded by a Jewish colonel, Luigi Liuzzi. He was the son of a Jewish general, Guido Liuzzi, and a relative of one of the most highly decorated officers in the Ethiopian campaign, Aldo Liuzzi. Luigi Liuzzi, expelled from the army as a Jew in 1938, became the first Jewish chief of staff of postwar republican Italy.
“Jews, thanks to their important role as journalists, also contributed to the development of the Italian language. In the period 1848-1900, they strongly supported all political currents of the Risorgimento. In Piedmont the newspaper of Camillo, Count of Cavour, the most important politician in the creation of the new Italy, was edited by a Jew, Giacomo Dina who would later become a senator. Dina was also an active member of the Jewish Burial Society in Turin.
“After Cavour had lost his seat in the Piedmont parliament, the 1853 election was critical for his political survival. He won a seat against a well-known aristocrat. His electoral district – at the time only people who could write could vote, and all Jewish males could do so – was an area of the ghetto of Turin. His main electoral agent was the chief rabbi of Turin, Lelio Cantoni. Later when Cavour was prime minister of the country, the head of his cabinet was Isacco Artom. Born in Florence, wounded in the first war of independence (1848-1949), Artom became one of Italy’s first Jewish ambassadors. As for Cavour, his statue still stands in front of the ghetto...
Count Ottolenghi was the first Jewish minister of war in Europe, a follower of Garibaldi and later a senator".
Allemagne, 2018, 1 h 31
Sur Arte le 4 août 2019 à 14 h
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