Monday, November 30, 2009

Mussolini was an Antisemite

When it came to the Jews, the Italian Fascists didn't hold a candle to their German allies. On the contrary, in Yugoslavia and France, high-ranking Italian fascist officials actively thwarted Nazi anti-Jewish policies. (I wrote a chapter about this in Hitler's Bureaucrats: The Nazi Security Police And The Banality Of Evil). Mussolini's role, however,has long been enigmatic.

Less so now, apparently. According to the diaries of his mistress, he was a racist, an antisemite, and proud of it all. This may not be definitive proof to shut down all discussion, but it's a serious source. Remember, the mistress, Clara Petacci, was lynched alongside Mussolini in 1945, so the diary reflects the man as seen at the time, without any sanitizing post-fact cleanups.


Victor said...

People forget that in Romania and Moldova, where my family is from, it was the Italians who ran the camps. My father's mother survived because an Italian officer thought she looked like his daughter.

NormanF said...

Italy's Fascists wanted to recreate the Roman Empire. But they forgot that Italy had neither the manpower or the military strength to make such far flung imperial dreams a reality.