chapter  4
54 Pages

The implementation of Nordic racism in Italy, 1936–1938

Given Mussolini’s public antipathy towards racism in the early 1930s, why did he decide to inject it full force into Italian society in July 1938? This question has preoccupied historians of fascist racism since the middle of the twentieth century. Thus, it is worth while to pause for a moment to consider the variety of explanations offered by prominent historians. Originally, many scholars believed that Italian fascist racism was a largely artificial creation of the Italo-German alliance. Antonio Spinosa, one of the first to examine the problem comprehensively, charged that

This politics [of the Italo-German alliance] crowned by the declaration of war against Great Britain and France, is the cause of the Italian racist campaign wanted by the leaders of the Gross-Deutsches Reich. The more one examines the documents of the epoch one finds only gauges of how fascist racism was born automatically from the foreign politics of the regime,

would be enough of a coincidence in certain dates to convince the most skeptical.2