Mussolini and the Italian Jews

Feb 2019
1
Oxford, United Kingdom
#1
Is anyone well versed of knows of any good materials that analyse Mussolini's history with and treatment of the Jewish population in Italy throughout his time in power?

Currently writing a paper on Il Duce and want to get an idea of the current consensus regarding his personal and political stances.

- Did he always harbour a hatred for them?
- Did he begin their persecution in 1938 simply to align more with Hitler or was it also born of personal beliefs?
- How grounded was his persecution of the Jews in his idea of a Roman Italy?

Would be keen to generate some discussion on this topic since it something that a lot of historians appear to overlook given the far more prominent Jewish persecution in Germany and its nation states at the time.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,994
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#3
Italians don't play the role of the angels because they were in large part anti-Fascist and not a few of them helped the Jews in those years. Not a few Italians were Fascists and the Racial Laws were a condemnation to death for Italian Jews [also from Italy trains left for the concentration camps ...].

This said, Mussolini was Socialist [he even was director of the newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party, Avanti], so I find it difficult to imagine that he was ideologically Anti-Semite [how can a Socialist racist?]. Obviously he left the Socialist Party to create the Fascist movement.

In any case, we have to explain the historical context of the Italian Kingdom which was born physically against the Catholic Roman Church [it conquered Rome!]. The point is that in Piedmont [the cradle of the Italian Kingdom] the Jewish community was well strong. And actually after the conquest of Rome the Jewish presence in the national parliament became visible. Italian Jews had also Prime Ministers in the Kingdom [Fortis, Sonnino, Luzzatti ...].

Fascism looked for something popular: better the Catholic Church than the Jewish community.

Anyway, we should remind that the Jewish community in Italy didn't see Fascism as a problem [partially it even supported it!]. Zionists showed problems to be "Italians of Jewish religion", they considered themselves Jews, period.

But ... Mussolini showed quite early some "troubles" with the Jews politically aligned with Communism. In a speech in 1919 he even sustained that the 80% of the Soviet leaders were Jews [so that he wondered if the Russian Revolution was a vendetta against Christianity by the Russian Jews].

So, before of the Racial Laws [when Mussolini simply followed the German ally], the Fascist Duce had problems with Communist Jews, not properly with all the Jews.
 
Dec 2015
3,361
USA
#4
I was going to say that Mussolini was another one of those people of history opposed to interfaith marriage.. I looked around for a link but I found from your link, In Fascist Italy we see that

Jews could not marry non-Jews

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/when-jews-backed-a-fascist-mussolini-king-victor-emmanel-1.451099

That is one of the worst and most inhumane policies of history. And that type of policy will lead directly to division. Fact is that intermarriage has occurred through history and continues to the modern times. In addition the leading Fascist Italo Balbo was said to not really be that much of an antisemitic. In fact in the 1930s Balbo was once welcomed by Millions of Americans in Chicago and NYC during the Worlds Fair. Perhaps if Balbo led Italy instead of Mussolini, things may have been better for Italian Jews throughout WW2.

Amazingly, to this day there are still countries that block interfaith marriage.
 
Nov 2010
7,336
Cornwall
#5
I was going to say that Mussolini was another one of those people of history opposed to interfaith marriage.. I looked around for a link but I found from your link, In Fascist Italy we see that

Jews could not marry non-Jews

https://www.thejc.com/news/world/when-jews-backed-a-fascist-mussolini-king-victor-emmanel-1.451099

That is one of the worst and most inhumane policies of history. And that type of policy will lead directly to division. Fact is that intermarriage has occurred through history and continues to the modern times. In addition the leading Fascist Italo Balbo was said to not really be that much of an antisemitic. In fact in the 1930s Balbo was once welcomed by Millions of Americans in Chicago and NYC during the Worlds Fair. Perhaps if Balbo led Italy instead of Mussolini, things may have been better for Italian Jews throughout WW2.

Amazingly, to this day there are still countries that block interfaith marriage.

I do have a lot of contact with orthodox jews - they are all opposed to interfaith marriage.

Work that one out!
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,624
Sydney
#6
There is some difference between a sect tenets on what is allowable and a state laws enforceable in the courts

in the US interracial marriages were deemed constitutional in 1967 by supreme court ruling in the Loving V. Virginia case

In the state of Israel ,the orthodox Jewish courts have great power on the subject of marriages and divorces
They cannot prevent interracial marriage but can withhold the status of Jewishness
 
Dec 2015
3,361
USA
#7
I do have a lot of contact with orthodox jews - they are all opposed to interfaith marriage.

Work that one out!
They are missing out. I also know some Christians who think the same way some are in my family. They are all in the wrong in a big way. I also have Muslims in my family who think the same way about interfaith marriage . I let all these naysayers know how I feel about support of intermarriage but have never really got emotional and talks with these folks .

Sometimes I say I should disown anyone who is against intermarriage but perhaps there is a different way it’s not like these folks are fascists.

Millions of Jewish folks (could be from any denomination of Judaism ) do engage in interfaith marriage.
 
Dec 2015
3,361
USA
#8
We Can see wrt ww2 and on the axis side that the idea of being Italian or German absolutely did not include Jewish Italian or Jewish Germans.

It’s that feeling of being left out that no wants to feel .

But America is a country where anyone can become an American ..same with England , France and more. Even during Ww2 before the rise of Mlk jr ..blacks and Jews in the USA worked the steel and auto jobs and contributed to winning the allies ww2. I say This because some people do say hey the third Reich had those camps, the Italians were bad but United States of America also had segregation. The USA did have segregation as has been pointed out , but even with that a number of prominent Americans and companies hired blacks and other minorities.

Look back at the Ww2 era And of all the countries of the world it is arguable the United States was the most liberal
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,350
#9
There is some difference between a sect tenets on what is allowable and a state laws enforceable in the courts

in the US interracial marriages were deemed constitutional in 1967 by supreme court ruling in the Loving V. Virginia case

In the state of Israel ,the orthodox Jewish courts have great power on the subject of marriages and divorces
They cannot prevent interracial marriage but can withhold the status of Jewishness
Near total control.
Marriage in Israel - Wikipedia
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2013
1,441
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
#10
They are missing out. I also know some Christians who think the same way some are in my family. They are all in the wrong in a big way. I also have Muslims in my family who think the same way about interfaith marriage . I let all these naysayers know how I feel about support of intermarriage but have never really got emotional and talks with these folks.
How can you have Muslims in your family if your Muslim family members oppose interfaith marriage? :lol:
 

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