April 18

History Forum: Prof. Luciano Minerbi

Narratives by Holocaust Escapees, a Sequel to the History of Jews: Ferrara, Italy
Prof. Luciano Minerbi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning (UHM)
Wednesday, April 18
12:30-1:45 pm
UH Mānoa History Department Seminar Room
Sakamaki Hall A201

I search the nexus among memories, narratives, and poetry of victims of
persecution, including myself, who were escapees from the Holocaust of
World War II. I find explanation in Croce’s historicism, in Augustine’s
time as the memory of the soul, and in Bergson’s perception and memory

I review writing by a few members of my extended family, when
impacted by the Fascist Racial Laws, to tease out recollections and feelings
as fugitives hiding in precarious sanctuaries in the years 1943–1945 in Italy.

I look at cultural and civic involvement of a few of the Minerbi by
going back 800 years. I contextualize this family record within the history
of the small Hebraic Community in the City of Ferrara through centuries of
tolerance and oppression by changing governments and edicts, as
documented by the Jewish historians Silvio Finzi-Magrini, Abramo Pesaro,
and Attilio Milano.

I reflect how these webs of research and the narratives by Sergio
Minerbi, Giovanni Finzi-Contini and Giorgio Bassani, and the Museum of
Casa Minerbi-Del Sale, and the National Museum of Italian Judaism
(MEIS) and the Museum-Ferrara could give their contribution to the
dialogue for improved urban civic culture, so needed today.

Luciano Minerbi, a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, teaches land use, community planning
and sustainability in Hawai‘i and Pacific Islands.