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Accounting for Jewish ‘Bare Life’ in the Fossoli Concentration Camp, 1943–44

Warwick Funnell, Valerio Antonelli, Michele Bigoni, Emanuela Mattia Cafaro and Raffaele D'Alessio

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2022, vol. 88, issue C

Abstract: Italian Jews were collected by the Fascists at the Fossoli concentration camp in northern Italy and later transported by the Germans to their extermination camps. This required the suspension of the normal Italian legal protections which Agamben has recognised as the creation of a state of exception that allowed Jews to be denied the rights which gave their life value, thereby reducing them to ‘bare life’ that could be destroyed without consequence for the killer. Accounting practices used in the management of the Fossoli concentration camp allowed Italian Jews in the camp to become known only with measureable attributes, not individuals with a right to life. Jewish prisoners sent to the extermination camps to be killed became mere numbers, data to be processed. Consequently, accounting practices became fundamental to the Nazis’ biopolitical regime that would become part of the attempted annihilation of Italian Jews. The paper recognises the need for researchers to engage more with the genocidal tragedies during the Second World War and in many other recent wars.

Keywords: Accounting; Bare Life; Agamben; State of Exception (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:88:y:2022:i:c:s1045235421000423

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2021.102323

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