Are 19th century socialism and labour movements at the roots of 20th century antisemitism? Historical studies on the topic seem to establish such a connection, but these studies have several methodological biases. An analysis of different kinds of national labour conferences, held in Italy from 1860 to 1914, reveals no interest in the Jewish question. Due to the relative integration of Jews in Italian society and to the almost total Catholic monopoly of anti-Jewish positions, labour organizers didnot act as mediators between the antisemitic prejudices of the lower classes and the quite rare antisemitism of the socialist press, politics and intellectuals.
Keywords: Labour movement, Italy, 19th century, Antisemitism, Jewish question