68,000 mostly Jewish refugees, of which about 50,000 in transit.
Parliamentary monarchy; from 1925 establishment of a fascist dictatorship; economic crisis; traditionally high unemployment. Alliance with Germany from October 1936; entry into the war on the German side in June 1940. September 1943: Northern Italy and Rome occupied by Germany.
Conditions of entry:
No visa requirement until 1938; gradual tightening of entry conditions up to and including ban on Jewish immigration in May 1940. Work permits seldom issued, illegal employment was tolerated; work bans from 1938.
There were favourable entry conditions into Italy which – in spite of the fascist dictatorship – attracted many who had suffered persecution. Most refugees used the Italian ports in order to continue to Palestine or overseas. When Adolf Hitler visited Italy in 1938, hundreds of exiles were temporarily arrested, allegedly because they would endanger the state visit. "Race laws" were enacted in the autumn of 1938 that significantly curtailed the rights of Jewish refugees. After Italy entered the war, Jewish emigrants were interned as "citizens of enemy nations" and, from September 1943, were also deported to the German extermination camps.