Aktuelle Fellows des Zentrums für Holocaust-Studien

Elia Di Fonzo

As of January 2023, Elia Di Fonzo is a PhD candidate at the Universities of Padova, Verona and Venice. He got his Bachelor in foreign languages and literatures at the University of Trento, and has continued his studies in History at the same university. He earned his MA with a thesis on the organisation of the Ordnungspolizei in occupied Italy. After a brief experience as translator from German into Italian, when he translated Longerich's biography of Hitler, he started his PhD path. He is developing a project that stems from his master thesis, researching the role of the Ordnungspolizei in the Italian Social Republic between September 1943 and May 1945.

His research is characterised by a multi-layered approach that aims at investigating the modus operandi of one of the central pillars of German repression in occupied Italy. On the one hand, he has focused on the personal composition of commands and units, assessing in particular the professional background of those officers serving in that theatre, as well as their criminal experiences. On the other, he has researched the dynamics of police cooperation between the Ordnungspolizei and the Italian security forces, drawing largely from Italian sources, which shed new light on aspects that do not emerge from the scattered German ones.

In Munich he will work on the problem of continuity between the Nazi and the Police forces of the Bundesrepublik, recurring to the Täterforschung as main methodological tool. He will analyse the post-war careers of a sample of officers and NCOs, taking into account denazification and the processes against them celebrated by the German Federal Republic. Among Elia's main research interests should be listed the History of the Nazi and Fascist Police forces, the dynamics of police cooperation between the two countries, processes of knowledge transfer in that field, as well as the Täterforschung, in particular when applied to a context of counter-insurgency warfare.