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Cucina Montefiori: 1938

Cucina Montefiori: 1938

1938. "New York, New York. John Montefiori's sister-in-law in her kitchen at 340 East 63rd Street. Mr. Montefiori, tenant and janitor of the building, works in a sculpture factory that turns out the little white horses for White Horse Whisky, etc." Medium format acetate negative by Sheldon Dick. View full size.


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Papal response

On July 14 the Italian fascist government published the Manifesto della razza (Manifesto of Race). which stated that Italians were of "Aryan race," preparing the way for the enactment of the Racial Laws later that year. The next day Pope Pius XII responded to this, as reported in the New York Evening Star on July 17.
Apologies it was the Washington DC Evening Star

Mussolini's anti-Jewish laws

On September 1, 1938 Mussolini's Fascist regime implemented its first anti-Jewish law; thence forward, all Jews who had settled in Italy since 1919 were subject to expulsion. This law immediately affected at least 15,000 people, many of whom were German or Austrian refugees escaping Hitler.

A subsequent November 10, 1938 decree prohibited the employment of Jews, and prohibited Jews from owning businesses or real estate of more than a certain size, leading to the expropriation of 70% of Jewish owned property.

Perhaps one of these catastrophic events is what the headline is referring to, dating this photo to sometime in the fall of 1938(?).

[The date on the newspaper is July. - Dave]

Yesterday's Headlines

I realize this is a year before WW2 broke out, but I found the partial headline curious.

"(Because?) of Jews in ... " I couldn't make out the last word. Anyone have better eyes than me? I'm sure it has something to do with the plight of the Jewish people in Europe and the horrible future that awaits them.

[Last words of the headline are "Jews in Italy." - Dave]

Mamma Mia!

I'll bet Mamma Montefiori turned out wonderful Italian home cooking from that rudimentary kitchen--I know my grandmother did. On another note, that kitchen is just like the one my relatives (the Kramdens) had in Brooklyn in the 1950s.

Keep the Royal

Mrs. M and her sister probably insisted to Mr. M to keep the old stove right where it is. Having a nice steady 400 pound counter with, once the inside of that stove is clean and sparkly, a nice storage underneath. People of that era made do very nicely with what was at hand.

Time marches on

Interesting use for an old wood-burning stove.

[Coal stove! - Dave]

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