An Italian Racist Among the Prostitutes of Bucharest: Guido Landra’s Anti-Gypsyism. After co-drafting the “Manifesto of Race” with Mussolini in 1938, Landra lived in Romania from 1941 to 1945, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a propagandist and teacher at the Italian Cultural Centre in Bucharest. In this capacity, he carried out research on the city’s prostitutes between 1944 and 1945. This article investigates the resulting study, published in 1949, when Landra had become a ‘democratic citizen’, revealing the influence of the eugenic theories developed in Romania in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as Landra’s racism and sexism. The brief reconstruction of Landra’s racist biography highlights his transition to radical anti-Gypsyism at the moment when the radical anti-Semitism he had previously ‘scientifically’ legitimised became politically compromising. Published in a prestigious legal journal, Landra’s study is emblematic of the permanence of the most radical forms of racism in post-war intellectual Italy.
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Racism, gender, prostitution, anti-Gypsyism, Romanian eugenics, Guido Landra