Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World

ኢትዮጵያን አትንኳት | Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?

Posted by addisethiopia on February 15, 2018

ይህ ከዩናይትድ ስቴትስ ጦር የህዝብ ግንኙነት ቢሮ የተገኘ ድምጽዓልባ ታሪካዊ ፊልም ሙሶሎኒ እና ሌሎ የኢጣሊያ ፋሽስቶች እ..አ በ 1945 . ተይዘው ሲሰቀሉ ያሳየናል። የንጹሐኑን አባቶቻችንና እናቶቻችንን ደም ያፈሰሱት እነዚህ እርኩሶች ደማቸው ሲንጠባጠብ በቪዲዮው ይታያል።

የስዊዘርላንዱ የታሪክ ጸሐፊ፡ ፋሺስት ጣልያን በኢትዮጵያ ስለፈጸመቸው ጭካኔ፡ ከጥቂት ዓመታት በፊት ባወጡት መጽሐፉቸው ሁኔታውን እንደሚከተለው ገልጸውት ነበር፦

የጣልያን አገዛዝ፡ በአፍሪካ እና በእስያ ቅኝ ገዥዎች ታሪክ ውስጥ ምንም ዓይነት ተምሳሊት ያልነበረው የ የሽብር አገዛዝነበር።

ቤኒቶ ሙሶሊኒ ለኢትዮጵያውያን የነበረውን ንቀትና ጥላቻ በሚከተሉት ቃላት ልጿቸው ነበር

በአሁኖቹ፣ በቀድሞዎቹና በወደፊቶቹ ጥቁር ባሪያዎች እና የእነሱ ተከላካዮች ላይ እንተፋባቸዋለን። በቅርቡ አምስቱም አህጉራ በእኛ በፋሽስቶች ቁጥጥር ሥር ይውላሉ

ሙሶሊኒ አሁንም እንደ በጣም ክፉ ግለሰብ ይታወሳል። በተለይ ኢትዮጵያን በግፍ ወይም በጭካኔ ለመያዝ የጣረ ሞኝ ወይም እብድ ሰው ነበር። በዘመናችንም እንደ ሙሶሊኒ የመሳሰሉ ሰዎች፡ በተለይ በጣልያንና ጀርመን ብቅ ብቅ በማለት ላይ ይገኛሉ። እንንቃ! በተለይ በሶማሊያና ሱዳን በኩል፡ ልክ በጣልያን ጊዜ እንደነበረው፡ በጣም ተንኮለኛ የሆነ ሴራ አሁንም ተጠንስሷል።

የዲያብሎስ ልጁ ሙስሊማኒ ከአረቦችና ሶማሌዎች ጋር በመተባበር ነበር በ1929 .ም ቂሙን ለመወጣት ኢትዮጵያን የወረረው። ኢትዮጵያ ደግሞ ገና የሽግግር ወቅት ላይ የነበረች በመሆኑ የተደራጀ መንግሥት እና ጦር አልነበራትም። ፋሽስት ኢጣሊያ ደግሞ አሉ የተባሉ ዘመናዊ የጦር መሣሪያዎችን መርዝ ከሚተፉ አውሮፕላኖች ጋር ይዛ ኢትዮጵያን ወረረች።

ወረራው የተደራጀ ስለነበር በቀላሉ ሊቀለበስ አልቻለም። ስለዚህ ንጉሠ ነገስቱ እዚሁ ሆነው የከፉ ነገር ከሚመጣ ወደ ውጭ ወጥተው መታገልን የዘመኑ ሹማምንቶች እንደ አማራጭ መከሩ። እናም ግርማዊ ቀዳማዊ ኃይለሥላሴ ከመንበረ ስልጣናቸው ተነስተው ኢትዮጵያን ለቅቀው ወደ እንግሊዝ ተሰደዱ። ሀገር አልባ ሆኑ።

ኢጣሊያም የኢትዮጵያን መንግሥት ተቆጣጠረች። ሮም በደስታ ተቀጣጠለች። ኢትዮጵያዊያንን ደግሞ ለሁለት ተከፈሉ። አብዛኛው በአርበኝነት ተሰማራ። ቀሪው ደግሞ ለኢጣሊያ ፋሽስቶች ባንዳ ሆነ። አርበኞቹ ፋሽስቶችን ለመፋለም በዱር በገደሉ ተሰማሩ። ጦርነቱ በየፈፋው ይካሄድ ጀመር። ኢጣሊያ በመርዝ ጋዝ አባቶቻችንን፥ እናቶቻችችንና ልጆቻቸቸውን ሁሉ መፍጀት ጀመረች። በጣም ብዙ ሕጻናት፣ ሴቶችና እናቶች አረጋውያን አለቁ። በአንድ ዕለት፤ በየካቲት 12 ቀን 1929 .ም ብቻ ከ30 ሺህ በላይ የአዲስ አበባ ነዋሪ በፋሽስቶች ተጨፈጨፉ።

Why Are So Many Fascist Monuments Still Standing in Italy?


My Note: Swiss historian, Aram Mattioli has called Graziani’s genocidal reign in Ethiopia:

“Reign of terror”, “for which there were no role models in the colonial history of Africa and Asia”.

Mussolini’s disregard and outright contempt for the sovereignty of Ethiopia were expressed in the following hateful words:

We spit on all Negroes of the present, past and future and their possible defenders. It will not be long, and the five continents will have to bow their heads to the fascist will.

In the late nineteen-thirties, as Benito Mussolini was preparing to host the 1942 World’s Fair, in Rome, he oversaw the construction of a new neighborhood, Esposizione Universale Roma, in the southwest of the city, to showcase Italy’s renewed imperial grandeur. The centerpiece of the district was the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, a sleek rectangular marvel with a façade of abstract arches and rows of neoclassical statues lining its base. In the end, the fair was cancelled because of the war, but the palazzo, known as the Square Colosseum, still stands in Rome today, its exterior engraved with a phrase from Mussolini’s speech, in 1935, announcing the invasion of Ethiopia, in which he described Italians as “a people of poets, artists, heroes, saints, thinkers, scientists, navigators, and transmigrants.” The invasion, and the bloody occupation that followed, would later lead to war-crimes charges against the Italian government. The building is, in other words, a relic of abhorrent Fascist aggression. Yet, far from being shunned, it is celebrated in Italy as a modernist icon. In 2004, the state recognized the palazzo as a site of “cultural interest.” In 2010, a partial restoration was completed, and five years later the fashion house Fendi moved its global headquarters there.

Italy, the first Fascist state, has had a long relationship with right-wing politics; with the election of Silvio Berlusconi, in 1994, the country also became the first to bring a neo-Fascist party to power, as part of Berlusconi’s center-right coalition.* But this alone is not enough to explain Italians’ comfort with living amid Fascist symbols. Italy was, after all, home to Western Europe’s biggest anti-Fascist resistance and its most robust postwar Communist Party. Until 2008, center-left coalitions maintained that legacy, often getting more than forty per cent of the vote in elections. So why is it that, as the United States has engaged in a contentious process of dismantling monuments to its Confederate past, and France has rid itself of all streets named after the Nazi collaborationist leader Marshall Pétain, Italy has allowed its Fascist monuments to survive unquestioned?

The sheer number of relics is one reason. When Mussolini came to power, in 1922, he was leading a new movement in a country with a formidable cultural patrimony, and he knew that he needed a multitude of markers to imprint the Fascist ideology on the landscape. Public projects, such as the Foro Mussolini sports complex, in Rome, were meant to rival those of the Medici and the Vatican, while the likeness of Il Duce, as Mussolini was known, watched over Italians in the form of statues, photographs in offices, posters at tram stops, and even prints on bathing suits. It was easy to feel, as Italo Calvino did, that Fascism had colonized Italy’s public realm. “I spent the first twenty years of my life with Mussolini’s face always in view,” the writer recalled.

In Germany, a law enacted in 1949 against Nazi apologism, which banned Hitler salutes and other public rituals, facilitated the suppression of Third Reich symbols. Italy underwent no comparable program of reëducation. Ridding Italy of thousands of Fascist memorials would have been impractical, and politically imprudent, for the Allied forces whose priority was to stabilize the volatile country and limit the power of its growing Communist Party. After the war, the Allied Control Commission’s bulletins and reports instead recommended that only the most obvious and “unaesthetic” monuments and decorations, like busts of Mussolini, be destroyed; the rest could be moved to museums, or simply be covered up with cloth and plywood. This approach set a precedent. The 1953 Scelba Law was designed to block the reconstitution of the Fascist Party and was famously vague about everything else. The ruling Christian Democratic bloc, which included many former Fascists, did not see the regime’s copious material remains as a problem, and so a more proactive policy was never put in place.

This means that, when Berlusconi brought the right-wing Italian Social Movement Party to power, his rehabilitation of Fascism was aided by an existing network of pilgrimage sites and monuments. Most notable was Predappio, Mussolini’s birthplace, where his burial crypt is situated and where shops sell Fascist and Nazi-themed shirts and other merchandise. The Mancino Law, passed in 1993, had responded to the resurgent right by sanctioning the propagation of “racial and ethnic hatred,” but it was unevenly enforced. I was living in Rome on a Fulbright fellowship in 1994, and was jolted awake more than once by shouts of “Heil Hitler!” and “Viva il Duce!” coming from a nearby pub. In the aughts, as Berlusconi cycled in and out of office, sites like Predappio surged in popularity, and preservationists of all political stripes forged alliances with the empowered right to save the Fascist monuments, which were increasingly seen as an integral part of Italy’s cultural heritage. The Foro Mussolini, like the “Square Colosseum,” is a subject of special admiration. In 2014, Matteo Renzi, the center-left Prime Minister, announced Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics inside the complex, which is now known as the Foro Italico, standing in front of “The Apotheosis of Fascism,” a painting that was covered up by the Allies, in 1944, because it depicts Il Duce as a God-like figure. It would be hard to imagine Angela Merkel standing in front of a painting of Hitler on a similar occasion.

In recent years, there have been some halting efforts to examine Italy’s relationship to Fascist symbols. In 2012, Ettore Viri, the right-wing mayor of Affile, included a memorial to General Rodolfo Graziani, a Nazi collaborator and an accused war criminal, in a park built with funds approved by the center-left regional government. After a public outcry, the government rescinded the funds. Recently, Viri was charged with Fascist apologism, but the memorial remains in place.

In Predappio, a new Museum of Fascism is currently under construction. Some see the museum, which is modelled on Munich’s Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism, as a much needed exercise in public education. (In 2016, I was a member of the international committee of historians that convened in Italy to evaluate the project.) Others fear that its location in Mussolini’s home town means that it will further fuel rightist nostalgia. Laura Boldrini, the president of the lower house of parliament, has been lobbying for the removal of Italy’s most egregious Fascist remnants. Her proposal, in 2015, to remove an inscription of Mussolini’s name from the Foro Italico’s obelisk prompted outcries that a “masterpiece” would be defamed.

Boldrini has often pointed to the outlawing of Nazi symbols in Germany as an example for Italy to follow. But even that model might soon be tested. In a strong showing in the elections on September 24th, the Alternative for Germany became the first far-right party to win seats in the German parliament since 1945. The right wing in Germany, lacking the benefit of emotionally charged public monuments, has been orchestrating its gatherings around fringe events such as “right rock” music concerts. Yet, at AfD events, such as a march earlier in September, in Jena, Nazi chants have begun to resound. Unless the Party takes a hard line against Fascist symbols, it’s only a matter of time, one imagines, before they reappear. In Italy, where they never went away, the risk is different: if monuments are treated merely as depoliticized aesthetic objects, then the far right can harness the ugly ideology while everyone else becomes inured. One doubts that Fendi’s employees fret about the Fascist origins of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana as they arrive at work each morning, their stilettos tapping on floors made of travertine and marble, the regime’s preferred materials. As Rosalia Vittorini, the head of Italy’s chapter of the preservationist organization docomomo, once said when asked how Italians feel about living among relics of dictatorship: “Why do you think they think anything at all about it?”

Source: The New Yorker

In Italy, Mussolini Makes Comeback


By STEFAN NICOLA, UPI | Feb. 19, 2010

BERLIN, Feb. 19 (UPI) — Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is making an unexpected popularity comeback in Italy, a phenomenon nurtured by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over the past 15 years.

Mussolini was one of the closest allies of Hitler’s Nazi Germany; his soldiers committed brutal war crimes in Africa and the Balkans; and his regime is responsible for the deaths of around 1 million people.

Despite all that, the Duce, as Mussolini’s admirers call him, is becoming increasingly popular in Italy — even with the younger crowd.

In January, the iPhone application iMussolini became the most popular in Italy. The program, harshly condemned by Jewish groups noting the “Duce” had sent thousands of Jews into concentration camps, allowed users to read and listen to speeches of the Fascist leader. Up to 1,000 people downloaded the app each day, before Apple pulled it from its Italian store earlier this month.

The iPhone app is just one of many manifestations of the gradual rehabilitation of the Duce and his fascist dictatorship, which lasted from 1922-43.

Streets are being renamed after “regime heroes,” “good Fascists” are the stars of movies and politicians from all major parties are belittling the Fascist horrors.

In 2008, the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, a member of the National Alliance, Mussolini’s political descendants and key allies of Berlusconi, defended the Fascist dictatorship during a tour of Israel.

Last June, Michela Brambilla, the Italian minister of tourism and a possible successor to Berlusconi, did what many interpreted as the Fascist salute during celebrations in honor of the local Carabinieri.

In any other Western European country, this would have destroyed the woman’s political career — not so in Italy. She remains in power, despite the fact that doing the salute is against the law.

These are not isolated incidents but “results and symptoms” of a larger change gripping all walks of society, writes Aram Mattioli, a historian at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland, who has researched Fascist revisionism in Italy.

His 200-page study “Viva Mussolini — An Appreciation of Fascism in Berlusconi’s Italy” (Ferdinand Schoeningh) hit book stores Friday. It describes in detail how Italy for the past 15 years has cultivated a gradual revisionism of Fascism, “focusing on the period before the anti-Semitic race laws and the ever-closer alliance with Hitler’s Nazi Germany,” Mattioli told United Press International in a telephone interview Friday.

Revisionism began to bloom starting in 1994, when the decades-long Christian Democratic-dominated government collapsed and Berlusconi shot to the scene to establish himself as the new leader.

Berlusconi’s new government, comprised of political startups and political descendants of Mussolini, in 1994 was the first in Europe to include neo-Fascists — a major watershed point in European politics.

The defeat of Communism, Berlusconi’s ability to influence the media and the fact that Italy had not really come to terms with its World War II past (unlike in Germany or Japan, no war tribunal tried Italy’s fascists) made it easier for conservative and neo-Fascist politicians to rehabilitate Mussolini during the years since.

Under Berlusconi — who himself has spoken warmly of the Duce many times — opinions that would have labeled extreme years earlier all of a sudden were used even by center-right politicians.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the hapless opposition was too busy licking its own wounds to counter that development.

This revisionism affects Italy as a whole, Mattioli said. “I see a close connection between the revisionist tendencies and the inner state of today’s Italy, were political culture has reached a low-point,” he told UPI. “Italy has entered a state of post-democracy. Democracy is still formally existent but policies are increasingly illiberal.”

Berlusconi’s government has in the past been criticized for cracking down on illegal immigrants. Mattioli also warns of a general militarization of society that has seen soldiers doing police work and citizens establishing vigilante groups.

Young people increasingly back this political development.

Italian newspaper La Stampa Thursday published a poll that indicated that 45 percent of young Italians sympathize with xenophobic or racist ideologies.

These numbers worry Mattioli, who has a deep sympathy for Italy, from where his great-grandfather emigrated to Switzerland in the late 19th century.

“The European Union needs to more closely watch Italy and should try to slow down the country’s negative development,” Mattioli said.

Source

Viva ETIOPÍA!

______

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: