Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post A Mussolini Tour
Created by John Eipper on 04/28/18 10:21 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:

Post

A Mussolini Tour (Nigel Jones, UK, 04/28/18 10:21 am)

I thought that Eugenio Battaglia and other WAISers might be interested in my reflections on a reconnaissance I carried out this month in Italy on a tour I am leading later this year titled "Duce! The rise and fall of Italian Fascism."  (Details on www.historical trips.com, though the 2018 tour has sold out.)

We visited Rome, the Gran Sasso high in the Appenine mountains (from which Mussolini was rescued in a daring commando operation by German airborne forces after he was deposed in 1943); Predappio, the Duce's home town and birth- and final resting place; Verona--where his son-in-law, Foreign Minister Count Ciano, and other Fascists who had voted for his deposition were tried and executed; Lake Garda, HQ of the radical Salo republic set up under Nazi auspices after Mussolini's rescue and restoration to power; and finally Lake Como and Milan, where the Duce, his mistress Clara Petacci and other leading loyal Fascists were caught, shot, and demeaningly strung up upside down.

My main surprising impression were the astonishing survival of Fascist artifacts from the era: not only the excellent modernist architecture of, for example, Rome's EUR quarter, but also the openly Fascist murals and statues of the Fora Italico sports complex, of which I reproduce an example below.

In stark contrast to Germany, where Nazi symbols such as the swastika are strictly banned, Italians appear quite nonchalant about remembering Mussolini, indeed many of them, including Eugenio, are proud of him!

This may be down to the relatively benign nature of the Fascist dictatorship in comparison to the Nazis. (Mussolini, with a few notorious exceptions such as Matteotti and the Roselli brothers, tended to jail his opponents--such as Gramsci--rather than murder them.) Unless you count the war dead among Mussolini's victims, Fascism had a far lower body count than Nazism, and infinitesimally fewer than Communism.

Even so, I was quite shocked that Predappio boasts no fewer than three thriving shops doing a roaring trade in Mussolini memorabilia:  Badges, t-shirts, fascist flags, Hitler and Mussolini mugs, and even Fascist coshes. (OK, in the cause of research I admit to buying a Mussolini futurist bust--but a very small one!)

The most fascinating contrast came with meeting the Mayor of Predappio, a charming left-winger who wants to turn the large and semi-derelict "House of Fascism" in the town into a proper museum documenting Fascism (but who was happy to show me round his office in the Town Hall, Mussolini's childhood home, which is replete with Fascist insignia), and the man who bought the Villa Carpena, the Mussolini family's country home, from the family a few years ago, and runs it today as a combined shrine and pro-Fascist museum, full of relics of the Duce, including his uniform, motor bike, bicycle, pistol and so on.

Relations between the pro- and anti-Fascist factions in the town reminded me of nothing so much as the novel Don Camillo, documenting relations between a Priest and the Communist mayor of just such a small Italian town.

I should add that the trip is far from a Duce! tribute tour, and we will strive to be objective--including visiting the site of the notorious Aredeantine Caves massacre carried out by the SS in reprisal for a bomb which killed German troops in March 1944.

JE comments:  Note the "V" in Dvce, an attempt to create a classical feel.  Maybe this is why the mosaics remain.

Thank you for your fascinating preview, and best of luck for a successful tour, Nigel.  if there should be a reprise in 2019, be sure to let WAIS know.



SHARE:
Rate this post
Informational value 
Insight 
Fairness 
Reader Ratings (0)
0%
Informational value0%
Insight0%
Fairness0%

Visits: 139

Comments/Replies

Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now



All Forums with Published Content (40799 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications

Economics

Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy

Education

Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series

History

Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust

Nations

Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire

Politics

Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 Violence War War Crimes Within the US

Religion

Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)

Travel

Geography Maps Tourism Transportation

WAIS

1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who