Cantoni, Raffaele

Birth Name Cantoni, Raffaele [1] [2] [3]
Gender male
Age at Death 75 years


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth 1896 Venezia Venice, provincia di Venezia, Veneto, Italia  

Occupation 1946 Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane Union of Italian Jewish Communities Raffaele Cantoni served as President of the pro-Zionist Union

Event Note

Raffaele Cantoni was a Mason, a Socialist and a Zionist.
He was connected with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the World Jewish Congress.
He founded several Italian hakhsharot.

Event Note

Raffaele Cantoni worked to obtain freedom of Jewish worship equal to that of the Catholics, from the Italian government.

Event Note

In early 1939, Raffaele Cantoni tried unsuccessfully to persuade the British ambassador in Roma to accept a plan for the enrollment of Jewish volunteers in the British Army, a plan that was realized only in the last years of the World War II with the creation of the Jewish Brigade.

Event Note

Raffaele Cantoni served as president of the Organizzazione Sanitaria Ebraica Jewish Health Organization in Italy. from the inception.

Event Note

Raffaele Cantoni cites, "The Church and the papacy have saved Jews as much and insofar as they could Christians. Six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis... but there would have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII."

Event Note

A letter dated October 27, 1945, from the Vatican, and signed by Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, to Raffaele Cantoni, cites: details regarding a conversation between Pius XII and Leo Kubwitsky, secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, "during an audience, on behalf of his organization, Kubwitsky gave Pius XII more than one million dollars, present value, for "charity works" and expressed "his gratitude to the august Pontiff for his work in support of persecuted Jews. Pius XII decided that "the sum should go exclusively to needy persons of Jewish origin."

Occupation   Delegazione per l’Assistenza agli Emigranti Ebrei Delegation for the Assistance of Jewish Emigrants DELASEM  

Place Note

Selvino housed 800 Jewish children orphaned in the Holocaust, in a large children’s home called Sciesopoli.
Raffaele Cantoni, and his staff from Italian convents and monasteries, where they hid, collected the first group of the orphans.
Later, children were smuggled across the border from DP camps by the Jewish Brigade.
The school at Selvino was run by Moshe Zeiri, of the Jewish Brigade.
ORT ran the vocational training, one school for locksmiths, one for joinery for boys, and a dressmaking unit for girls.

Death 1971    



Source References

  1. Raffaele Cantoni, un ebreo anticonformista
  2. Raffaele Cantoni
  3. Un ebreo fra D'Annunzio e il sionismo: Raffaele Cantoni
  4. Holocaust odysseys: the Jews of Saint-Martin-Vésubie and their flight
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    1. Cantoni, Raffaele