11 Facts About Angelo Donati


Cavalier Angelo Donati was a Jewish Italian banker and philanthropist, and a diplomat of the San Marino Republic in Paris.

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Angelo Donati came from one of the most important families of the Jewish Community of Modena, whose origins go back to the second half of the 16th century, when Donato Donati, who lived in Finale Emilia, received from Duke Cesare d'Este the permit to introduce the planting of buckwheat in the Duchy of Modena and Reggio.

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Angelo Donati's nephew Enrico Donati was an important surrealist artist, who died in New York in 2008.

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Angelo Donati was awarded the title of Grand'Ufficiale of the Italian Crown and the San Marino title of Commendatore dell'Ordine di Sant'Agata, while the French Government awarded him in 1936 the title of Commandeur of the Legion d'honneur.

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At the beginning of 1943 Angelo Donati prepared an ambitious plan to transfer thousands of Jews from southern France to Palestine with the support of the Italian, Vatican, British and American authorities.

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Angelo Donati, who had planned to return to Nice to organize the transfer, was luckily stopped in Florence because in Nice the Gestapo was waiting to arrest him, his apartment was sacked and robbed.

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From Montreux, where he lived, Angelo Donati tried to find out what happened to the deported Jews putting pressure on the International Red Cross and meeting in Bern with the Apostolic Nuncio and British, American and Italian diplomats.

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In 1945 the Italian Government invited Angelo Donati to go back to France and appointed him as general assistant Delegate of the Red Cross.

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Angelo Donati was appointed Charge d'Affaires of San Marino Republic in Paris and, in November 1953, promoted to Plenipotentiary Minister.

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Angelo Donati forcefully refused the role of a hero or declarations of gratitude but received declarations and letters of gratitude from the Jewish organizations of Nice and individual Jews.

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Angelo Donati adopted two Jewish children nine and ten years old, whose German Jewish parents had been deported from France and killed in Nazi German concentration camps located on occupied Polish soil.

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