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View Poll Results: Was Benito Mussolini antisemitic?
Yes 5 29.41%
No 12 70.59%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:56 PM   #1

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Was Italian fascism antisemitic?


Italian fascism was the original fascism. As any fascist movement is, Mussolini's party was centered around extreme nationalism and imperialism.

Benito Mussolini instated the Manifesto of Race or Manifesto della razza in 1938. This despicable antisemitic charter made Italian Jews outsiders by taking away their citizenship and making most of them lose their jobs.

Extreme nationalism necessarily leads to racism in most case but was Benito Mussolini antisemitic or did he institute this charter to please his influential ally, Adolf Hitler?

It seems to me that Mussolini made most of his antisemitic statements when he was getting weaker and more dependent of Hitler. However, he did make some antisemitic statements before the rise of Hitler.

Last edited by Labienus; June 8th, 2011 at 08:10 PM.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #2

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I cannot vote yay or nay because Mussolini did not start out antisemitic, and if he did so later on it is possible it came from a desire to emulate Hitler, as opposed to being ideologically driven. The antisemitic legislation enacted by the Italian state came up against stiff opposition from within the Fascist Council and its enforcement was poorly and unevenly enforced. Only after his rescue by Otto whatshisface in 1943 were deportations started in earnest.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:42 PM   #3

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Indeed, fascism took an antisemitic turn as Mussolini became more and more drawn into Hitlers sphere. So neither yes or no suffice and I cannot vote.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #4
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Voted no. Italian fascism was originally not anti-semitic, Mussolini himself had a jewish mistress and actually hundreds of jewish fascists participated in the Marcia su Roma also and there were Jews in the Fascist Party until the Nazi inspired anti-semitic laws.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:37 AM   #5
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I believe that antisemitism was not a fascist invention. Nor a nazi one. Antisemitism is all over populist, simplistic, nationalist and extreme theories during the history of Europe. Usually it goes together with extreme right / left winds, with ultra religious circles and of course with any totalitarian regime.
Thus, Fascism was antisemitic both in theory and in practice, since it acted in collaboration with the criminal projects of Nazism.

There is no such thing as anti-semitic ideology who has been forced to collaborate with the Shoah. Every regime that collaborated with nazis projects was as antisemitic as it gets.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:39 AM   #6

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No i dont think he was antisemitic on a personal level,he just decided to follow Hitler and show his loyalty IMO.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:13 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorgos View Post
I believe that antisemitism was not a fascist invention. Nor a nazi one.
The above is rather obvious, but nazism however was a radically racial theory in which anti-semitism was very much embedded, cause if I'm reading you right you say it's not inherent to nazisma and simply a byproduct, a tool as it was, I think that is incorrect and that much more then a means to an end, it was a very part of the basic ideology that was nazism.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #8

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Antisemitism was very prominent in 1888 in the search for Jack the Ripper.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:36 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by halomanuk View Post
No i dont think he was antisemitic on a personal level,he just decided to follow Hitler and show his loyalty IMO.
In fact didn't Hitler criticise Mussolini for not doing more about the Jews?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaius valerius View Post
The above is rather obvious, but nazism however was a radically racial theory in which anti-semitism was very much embedded, cause if I'm reading you right you say it's not inherent to nazisma and simply a byproduct, a tool as it was, I think that is incorrect and that much more then a means to an end, it was a very part of the basic ideology that was nazism.
You are right, I meant the obvious thing, that antisemitism was and is a racist theory that exists in populism of all colours. If you mean that antisemitism was one of the Nazism pillars, you are right, this is not valid for Italian fascism.

In fact, my understanding is that the political motivation that had Italian fascism to collaborate in the Shoah was not a significant reason to consider Fascism as a no antisemitic populism. Especially in a totalitarian Europe of the 30's / 40's: at that time, who wasn't antisemitic? Leon Blum, UK and the Spanish Republic certainly, but who else (unless of course I forgot some countries)?

All European totalitarian regimes of that dark time were based on nationalism, which excluded mostly and in the first place Jewish, the easy target. Hitler and the Nazis pushed this to its limits and certainly this is a reason to distinguish the Shoah as a Nazi crime. But even in occupied France and in Vichy, police was collaborating to Nazi authorities to the deportation of Jewish. This makes collaborationism and Vichy as anti-semitic as it gets.

In my country, there was once a flourishing Jewish community in Thessaloniki and in Corfu, installed there mostly after the Spanish inquisition. They were living in harmony until local collaborationists and Nazi's occupational forces brought the majority of them to Aushwitz. I can't name the Greek puppet regime under the occupation, which was a direct continuation of Greek version of Fascism (1936-1940) as a non antisemitic regime just because they needed to collaborate with Nazism. Those were choices and Mussolini's similar choice has consequences to the presence of Fascism as an antisemitic racist ideology in modern History.

Last edited by Yorgos; June 9th, 2011 at 03:10 AM.
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