The Jewish Community of Venice, after the issuing of Racial Laws in September 1938 and until 1943, lived a very difficult moment between exclusions and discriminations, previously with Aldo Finzi as commissioner and then, since the16th June 1940 under presidency of professor Giuseppe Jona.

Things came to a head also in Venice after September the 8th 1943. The German occupation in Mestre and in Venice (9th and 10th September) marked the starting of the “final solution”.The president of the Community, professor Jona, committed suicide on the 17th September not to give the list of the members of Venetian qehillà.

The “manifesto” and ther decrees in November 1943, declared Jews as foreigners of a hostile nationality, planning their arrest and the forfeit of their estates. Some Jews coul take a shlter in Switzerland as illegal immigrants, or to reach some places in the South of Italy or even to find a way out in the houses in the country; some others were combed by the soldiers of the Italian Social Republic, kept in gathering places (St. Maria the Major’s prison, Giudecca, “M. Foscarini” high school) and then swent to Fossoli, until June 1944 and the in Bozen and in the Risiera di San Sabba (St Sabba’s rice mill) in Trieste.

Arrests and deportations happened mainly in the first days of December 1943 ( the 5th December’s raid) and in the summer of 1944, but they continued until the first months of 1945. Particularly painful was the arrest of the 21 guests of the Jewish Old Ahe home, happend on the 17th August 1944: among them also the old rabbi Adolfo Ottolenghi, who wanted to follow the fate of his own correligionists. All of them were sent by armoured trains, mostly in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The Nazi/Fascist persecution lasted eighteen months during which Jewish life in the ghetto continued, while sometimes the helping of the non Jews and of the Church didn’t miss. The Venetian Jews taken and deported between 1943 and 1944 were 246. A memorial reminds their names forever in the Ghetto Nuovo square, together with the monument made by the scultor Blatas and devote to Shoah.

In the Spring 1945 the Jewish Community started its difficult renewal. Firstly a provisional commitee, then the new Jewish Counclil, directed by cav. Vittorio Fano, set up slowly the worship, the school, the institutions and the assistance to a new life. With election of Elio Toaff as Chef Rabbi of Venice, in the month of October 196, the Venetian qehillà regained its centuries old pathway.