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September 8th. The decision PDF Stampa E-mail
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mercoledý 28 luglio 2021

September 8th. The decision

 

After September 8th, 1943, the various divisions of the Italian army, which were fighting on several fronts, simply dissolved. There was a widespread and desperate search for civilian clothes in an effort to evade capture by the former German ally and return home. The disbanded soldiers embodied the drama of the Italians at the close of the war. The horror of death, the enormity of destruction and deprivation that touched the extremes of human endurance, to which was soon added the bitter certainty of imminent defeat, destroyed all the illusions fostered by fascism. War was now being waged on the nation’s soil with the German occupation, bombings, and the allies’ landings. The origins of the Resistance, whether "active" or "passive", which most Italians supported, can be explained not only by the failure of the regime, but also by the Italians’ weariness and their rejection of war. Yet there were those who opted, instead, for the uniform of Salò. These, the last arrivals among the ranks of fascism, would not accept the Duce’s removal, but above all, they were incensed by "the betrayal" perpetrated by the "felon king" who signed the armistice.

 
We dressed up as fascists PDF Stampa E-mail
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We dressed up as fascists

 

The visual evidence from the era reveals the ubiquitous presence of uniforms, which became another of fascism’s connotations. Uniforms were not only recurrent in official or party events, but also used in everyday life, in all its aspects. It was not a whim that urged Mussolini, after his early years as leader, to replace his starched civilian dress with military uniforms, and to wear them continuously, sending a clear message to society as a whole. Fascism used the "metaphor" of uniforms to regiment, control and forge a new society, where everyone has his or her appointed place in orderly ranks and had to collaborate for its collective development. Nevertheless, the high-sounding rhetoric of the Duce rang hollow in the homes of the wives and mothers who toiled to fabricate these uniforms.

 
Political theology PDF Stampa E-mail
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mercoledý 28 luglio 2021

Political theology

 

Fascism set out to present itself as a true "political religion". Thanks to a self-inspired aura of sacredness the regime endowed itself with a superior legitimacy. The adversary became an "enemy of the nation" to be pursued and banished. However, conflicts with the Church were inevitable, especially from 1927 to 1931 when Mussolini dissolved many Catholic youth associations in our own province. The Brescia Curia, led by bishop Monsignor Giacinto Gaggia, therefore, rather than curbing its apostolic action put up a tenacious and stubborn resistance to fascism’s inroads into its own vast lay organization. Brescia may have adapted but it did not give up the fight.

 
Book and musket PDF Stampa E-mail
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mercoledý 28 luglio 2021

Book and musket

 

In November 1938, the first national convention for children's and young people's literature was held in Bologna. The programme’s manifesto - signed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti - invited the authors of young people’s books to extol "the contentment of living today as imperial fascist Italians". As regards the school, since 1929 a "single state book had become the norm, as an instrument fully suited to form the new Italian citizen". For light reading, the regime first and foremost favoured comics: from the pioneering “Il Corriere dei Piccoli” to the more regimental “Il Giornale dei Balilla”. In the Thirties, new fictional and fantastic characters arrived from the United States: Phantom, Mandrake and the most beloved of them all, Flash Gordon, the explorer. Books with captivating titles were published, such as "The Adventurous", "The Bold" and "The Victorious".

 
The school PDF Stampa E-mail
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mercoledý 28 luglio 2021

The school

 

From its very beginnings, fascism considered the education of children and young people a top priority. In the course of the regime’s twenty years, it formulated an all-embracing project for moulding the consciences and character of the young. In 1922 the entire school system, including the universities, underwent wholesale reorganisation. Ideological indoctrination ranged from uniforms, didactic programmes and school texts to notebooks and a teachers' oath. The fascistisation of education reached a peak in 1939 with the approval of the School Charter, designed to create a “perfect pedagogical totalitarianism”, although it was largely to remain a dead letter due to Italy's entry into war a year later. The central element of the Charter was the definitive interpenetration between school and politics "under the leadership and the magisterium of the Duce".
 
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