Form and extent
Files and registers; 115 metres.
1940-1950 (with later developments).
Inventory, topographical lists, historical indexes with names and sequestration numbers.
EGELI - Ente Gestione e Liquidazione Immobiliare - with its head office in Rome was established by Royal Decree Law n. 126 of 9 February 1939, the regulation for the application of the sadly known anti-Jewish law of 17 November 1938, to acquire, manage and resell property taken from the Jews. Later EGELI extended its powers to sequestering property for non payment of taxes (Law 16 June 1939) and, when Italy entered the war, to sequestering the property of enemy nationals (Royal Decree n. 1415 of 8 September 1938; Law n. 1994 of 19 December 1940).
After 8 September 1943, date of the armistice signed by Italy with the Allies, EGELI was transferred to the north, to San Pellegrino Terme, where it also took over the management of industrial and commercial firms declared as enemy property, while the Republic of Salò tightened up measures against Jews, proclaiming the total confiscation of their property (Decree Law n. 1 and n. 2 of 4 January 1944).
EGELI’s first chairman was Senator Demetrio Asinari di Bernezzo, replaced shortly later, on his death, by Cesare Giovara, both also held the office of Chairman of Istituto San Paolo di Torino.
Nineteen institutes operating in the mortgage sector present in different parts of Italy were delegated with the management of the property transferred to EGELI. Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino was chosen for Piedmont and Liguria. The mandate entailed an increasingly onerous commitment, involving the technical, legal and accounting sections both at head office and in the branches, those in Liguria in particular, where foreign property was concentrated. In December 1945 the EGELI management department was set up, with 55 employees, to unify the administrative and accounting functions, previously belonging to credito fondiario and the technical department.
The sizable documentation produced was located when it was acquired by theHistorical Archives, in 1990, in a basement of the building in Via Monte di Pietà, where the Credito Fondiario section was based. It had been conserved almost integrally for legal reasons tied to the restitution of the property but also probably out of awareness that it reflected a grave moment in theInstitute’s and in the Nation’s history.
The fonds was the subject of an in-depth study coordinated by Fabio Levi Le case e le cose. La persecuzione degli ebrei torinesi nelle carte dell’EGELI 1938-1945 published in the series“Quaderni dell’Archivio Storico” in 1998. The Commission set up by the Prime Minister’s Office, the so-called “Anselmi Commission”, established “for the reconstruction of events that characterised in Italy the acquisition of the property of Jewish citizens by public and private bodies” made ample use of these archives, as may be read in the Rapporto generale published in 2001.
The main core of the fonds is made up of agreements and relationships with EGELI and the nominative files for sequestering and confiscating property, subdivided into Jewish property; property of enemy nationals; property of enemy nationals in occupied French territory; German property; tax collection property.
The first series, of limited size but of considerable importance, contains preliminary documents and the final texts of agreements with EGELI (the first of which is dated 23 April 1940), minutes of meetings between the banks entrusted with the management and EGELI, circulars, regulations, correspondence between San Paolo and EGELI regarding the management in general, memoranda and reports, statutes and legislative texts.
The nominative files, bearing the names of the property owners, generally contain the taking into possession report, a full analytical descriptive list of the real estate and the chattels, the restitution report; the internal correspondence between the Bank’s offices and branches, and external correspondence with municipalities, tax offices, owners, tenants, etc.; administrative and tax documentation.
The files regarding the confiscation of Jewish property number more than one hundred and fifty, distributed in the provinces of Piedmont and Liguria; the sequestration files are more numerous (371) and are concentrated in the province of Turin.
There are more than one thousands files regarding property belonging to enemy nationals, that later became allies (French, British, US, etc.). The province with the largest number of sequestrations was Imperia, where there were numerous French and British residences, including the Hanbury property with its famous gardens at Latte. Imperia was followed by Aosta, another border province, and Turin.
The Italian occupation of French territory, that took place in June 1940, entailed the sequestering of property of enemy nationals other than French, in compliance with Mussolini’s proclamation published in Menton on 31 August 1941 and by later provisions. There are around sixty sequestration files.
There are almost one hundred files regarding German property sequestered in the north of Italy following Liberation, on the basis of the communiqué of the Prime Minister’s Office, published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 5 of 1 January 1945, in which Germany was declared an enemy state. The issue of German property was the subject of a protocol agreement initialled in Washington on 14 August 1947 between Italy and the Allied powers.
These main series of documents are flanked by two nominative series, composed of about four thousand files, one containing petty administrative documentation, the other inventories summarising the values of property, with details of the accounts.
The integrity of the fonds, on which no selections have been made, also allows one to carry out research on labour organisation and on the history of banking practice.