Sunday, March 3, 2024

Italy’s far-right government is re-discussing World War II

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of Phoibe It’s literally a sinkhole. These shafts, often hundreds of meters deep, pockmark the border area between Italy and the former Yugoslavia. For centuries, Phoibe In these states, it was used to dispose of waste, known as Julian March. The two world wars brought together not only destroyed equipment and horse carcasses, but also human remains. Today’s word is Foibe The word is most often used to recall the murdered Italians who were thrown into these mine shafts.

February 10th marks the anniversary of the 1947 Treaty of Paris between the Allied Powers and Italy, which resulted in Italy ceding these border areas to Yugoslavia after Fascism’s failed attempt to dismantle Yugoslavia. . Since 2005, this day is also an official day of commemoration established by the Italian Republic. Every year on February 10, agency officials and memorial groups gather. Foiba It was held in Basovica, on the outskirts of Trieste, to commemorate Italians killed by Yugoslav partisans and those who left the annexed territories of Yugoslavia during the following decade.

After a surge in historical research that began in the 1980s, in recent decades Phoibe The murder is at the center of Italy’s national debate. The dissolution of the Italian Communist Party in 1991, the rise of Berlusconi’s right-wing politics, as well as the dissolution of Yugoslavia, all problematised the anti-fascist narrative, focusing the opposition on the “losers” and disrupting that narrative. The side was obscenely praised. But pop history books for the masses do. Last week, Giorgia Meloni’s government announced the creation of a new publicly funded museum in Rome. Phoibe memory of the victim.

This is ostensibly about balancing the record, challenging the supposedly monolithic and one-sided anti-fascist “snobbery” of Italy’s past. The news agency ANSA (National Stampa Association) reported that the museum recognizes the story of “ethnic cleansing” against Italians, a “tragedy”. . . After the war, it was wiped out by anti-fascists. ” But to understand what is happening, we must also know that this past is not simply being rediscovered. Rather, Foibe This story is an old warhorse of World War II revisionism, growing from subculture to dominant narrative over several decades.

All public institutions choose to praise some people over others. Some are heroes, some are victims, and some of the dead generation think it’s best to ignore them. Just as Confederate statues are primarily a product of the Jim Crow era and resistance to civil rights rather than a relic of the Civil War itself, public commemoration of World War II has also been influenced by latter-day politics. deeply shaped. It rarely conforms to the abstract concepts of historical records or academic research.

This is evident in the way the modern Italian right speaks of its lost cause. As scholar Eric Gobbetti has suggested, the narrow focus on Italian victims of Yugoslav partisans overshadows fascist Italy’s own role in bringing violence to the region. Gobbetti added: Phoibe The number of victims – Italians allegedly targeted for “ethnic cleansing” – was far fewer than the number of Italians who died in Yugoslavia in the anti-fascist fight. Alongside Josip Broz Tito’s Partisan.

Gobbetti’s book E alora le foibe? This shows that conflicts between nations did not begin in 1945, but had already increased sharply after World War I, as the territory had previously been divided between nation-states under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. If at that time two-thirds of the people in Trieste, the largest city in the region, spoke Italian, the hinterland was much more diverse, and Italian state power and the Italian language had to be forcibly imposed. There wasn’t. This struggle made the area an early center of fascist street violence even before he took over the government in late 1922.

In 1941, Benito Mussolini’s government went further and invaded Yugoslavia as an ally of Nazi Germany. The Axis powers occupied large swaths of territory in the Balkans and consolidated their control through mass deportations, retaliation, and counterinsurgency operations. In total, one million Yugoslavs were killed, including atrocities committed by Italian forces such as the Podum massacre. However, Mussolini’s empire did not last long, and eventually Yugoslav partisans led by Tito’s communists crossed the pre-war border and defeated Italian fascist forces.

The collapse of the Italian army in the fall of 1943, a period of direct rule by Nazi Germany, and the final victory of the Yugoslav partisans in the spring of 1945 were each followed by waves of violence. these are, Phoibe Focus on Memorial Day. The collapse of the Italian state in the border areas fueled widespread social violence, from peasant revolts to more private settlements, but also provoked more targeted repression by the new Yugoslav communist authorities.

Raul Pupo, the most famous scholar of this history, estimates that as many as 5,000 Italians were killed in these two moments, most of them in the second phase in 1945. Other historians, especially those who rely on lists, have reached lower totals. Number of known victims. Right-wing politicians challenge even higher numbers without evidence. Even more controversial is the honoring of the dead as “martyrs.”

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini often says: Phoibe Victims and Jews killed in the Holocaust. At several recent commemorations, he reiterated that “there is no dead Serie A or dead Serie B,” whether it be Auschwitz or the concentration camps. Phoibe. Like him, today’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni often refers to these Italians as “martyrs”. But it’s not just the right wing doing this. In 2007, a centre-left president denounced a repressed history of anti-Italian “ethnic cleansing”. A Ministry of Education information pack for schools published in 2022 claimed that Italians were excluded “in the same way as Jews were throughout Europe”.

in front of Phoibe On Memorial Day 2023, I met historian Pupo in Trieste. Mr. Pupo, an influential Christian Democrat from the city in the 1980s, reports that the term “ethnic cleansing” became popular during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, but it does not explain well the events of 1943-1945. do not have. His account focuses on the creation of a new political system that crushed domestic opposition and defeated representatives of Italian state power. Tito’s forces executed some tens of thousands of domestic enemies, most of them Nazi collaborators, monarchist soldiers, and other potential dissidents. The list of Italy’s dead still varies, but the known victims include many Fascist party officials, police officers, and landowners.

Despite the widespread use of the term “ethnic cleansing,” only a few people know about it. Phoibe The victims were women or children. However, the best known of the victims was Norma Cossette, the daughter of a local fascist leader, who died in October 1943 at the age of 23. Although she was a member of a fascist student circle, she had no role in the regime, and reports that she was raped before being murdered have been widely cited as emblematic of Yugoslav brutality. There is. Screened by public broadcaster RAI (Radiotelvisione italiana) in 2019 redland, a dramatized story of her final weeks. A graphic novel about Cossette is widely published in schools by a publisher affiliated with the neo-fascist group Casa Pound. Some accounts even say that Cossette is the “Italian Anne Frank”. In November of this year, Arezzo’s town council issued a statement jointly commemorating Cossette and the Jewish teenager, who are two symbols of violence against women.

Such “two-sidedness” often distorts familiar images of the Holocaust. Phoibe, is widely popular today. Meloni’s Italian Fratelli party called for the current ban on Holocaust denial to be extended to the following countries: Phoibe. Some local governments have passed laws prohibiting them from “denying” or “downplaying” allegedly anti-Italian “ethnic cleansing.” Pupo is one of the most enthusiastic historians, Phoibe, in 2019, he was labeled a “minimizer” by Friuli Venezia Giulia regional authorities for co-authoring an article rejecting the term “ethnic cleansing”.Unfounded claims and unbelievable number of victims, It is disputed by almost all professional historians and risks becoming a politically forced truth.

the government announced Foibe A museum in Rome, to which the Ministry of Culture has pledged 8 million euros, appears designed to support this version of events, centered around the idea that “Italians were killed just for being Italian” . Meloni’s party often criticizes left-wing anti-fascism, arguing that it is time to recognize victims “on both sides.” However, this equivalence has a major flaw.excellence given to Phoibe It does not correct the historical record or honor the victims, but provides nationalists with a broader myth about Italy’s victims.

Memorial Day, February 10th, falls 14 days after Holocaust Remembrance Day, making these two weeks a common battleground for the past. Some city halls are jointly commemorating the “martyrs.” Phoibe And the Holocaust. ” Apart from the unpleasantness of the relationship between (often fascist) Italians and Holocaust victims, the combination also cleverly erased other Italian crimes, especially those in Yugoslavia itself. I’ll leave. Her February 10th, the anniversary of the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, also marks the anniversary of Italy’s final abandonment of its colonial claims in Africa. However, there is no day of remembrance for the victims of Italian colonialism.

As I claim, Mussolini’s grandchildren, this rewriting of history is not centered around the fetishization of fascist regimes or, for that matter, the revival of historical territorial claims. Rather, the real aim is to erase the remaining political legacy of the resistance and anti-fascist parties that founded the republic in 1946. Arguing that militant antifascism functioned as a repressive ideology in the postwar decades, Meloni makes an explicit comparison to the reappraisal of antifascism. Foibe A history leading up to efforts to draw public attention to members of the neo-fascist MSI (Movimento Sociale Italiano) who were murdered by leftists in the 1970s.

This approach habitually cites the need for a historical “peace” that could unite Italian victims of all political stripes into a single national narrative. But this ostensibly well-intentioned reverence for the dead also suppresses important historical realities. We saw this last March, on the anniversary of the 1944 massacre at Fosse Ardeatine in Rome. In this massacre, Nazis and Italian fascist collaborators killed 335 people, and anti-fascists and Jews were massacred in anti-partisan reprisals. Prime Minister Meloni caused controversy when he falsely claimed that 335 people were killed “because they were Italian.”

Meloni uses this same phrase. Phoibe victims. However, evidence suggests that the majority of the dead were Fascists and other representatives of Italian political and economic power. Some people may not be embarrassed by this. Ahead of Remembrance Day in 2023, a group of relatives and admirers of the Nazi collaborationist paramilitary group Decima MAS held a memorial service in Gorizia. Local officials greeted them at City Hall.Last month, veteran Fratelli d’Italia senator Roberto Menia, who became the original sponsor, Phoibe The Remembrance Day bill called for the installation of plaques for two fascist senators “murdered by Tito’s partisans” in 1945.

This is not just an Italian story. Across Central and Eastern Europe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has intensified disputes over the legacy of 1945 and provided an opportunity for anti-Soviet nationalists to burnish their images, even if they were Nazi collaborators in many cases. It became. Italy’s right-wing parties are doing the same thing, portraying Italians as innocent people caught between the Nazis and the Communists, while playing down fascist crimes that originated in their own country.

This is not just a story of the past. This is because the focus on Italians as a “victim group” is designed to mesh better with modern identity politics. Current Senate President Ignazio La Russa recently said: phoibe anniversary He tweeted that the “worst racism” was the left’s “ideological racism against Italians.”yesterday [it was] It supported Stalin and Tito, and today supports Italians who want to control immigration and the Islamic threat. ” Mussolini’s successors definitely do not want to rebuild his empire. But they want Italians to be recognized as an endangered species.

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