Rome: Descendants of Italy’s wartime King Victor Emmanuel III have apologized to the country’s Jewish community over dictator Mussolini’s racial laws and the role of their ancestors in the Holocaust.
“I condemn the racial laws of 1938, the weight of which I still carry on my shoulders today, and the whole royal house with me,” said Emmanuel Filbert, 48, of Savoy, about his grandparents. Victor Emmanuel III put his signature on an “unacceptable document”, in a letter published on Facebook calling for a “formal apology” in the name of his family. About 8,000 Italian Jews were deported and killed in Nazi camps abroad, most of them in Auschwitz.
In a TV interview with the letter, Emmanuel-Filbert also spoke in support of the Italian Alliance and the positive role of his family since 1848 in giving Jews equal rights. Numerous Italian monarchs were deported to Nazi concentration camps. After the war, Victor Emmanuel III left in May 1946 and died the following year in Egypt.