Luciano and Simonetta Garibaldi: Events and protagonists of the Fascist period

Luciano and Simonetta Garibaldi
Ed.Archive History, Fidenza (PR) 2018
pp. 201

The authors, father and daughter, one of numerous popular history books, especially on the wars of the twentieth century, the other journalist and historical researcher, wrote this essay with the intention of giving "A portrait against the light of fascism, neither all bad nor all good."

As reported in the preface by Luciano Garibaldi "The Fascist period was, in fact, a period of experimentation with completely new concepts, rules and institutions, not a few of which have remained forever in our custom (and it would suffice to mention compulsory social security), of great territorial achievements (highways, modernization of historic centers, reclamation of swamps), of successes for the national economy (industrialization, end of inflation and the devaluation of the lira). "

Paolo Mieli himself, historian and journalist, convinced anti-fascist, argued during the 1999 Mantua Literature Festival that something, in the way of narrating the Twenties, did not return to him. “All the good on one side, all the bad on the other. Indeed, all of Italy against a clique of wicked people. But lies don't suit me, even if they come from my political side. If a country needs to reconstruct its past by lying, something is wrong. " In short, according to Mieli, Italy still has to deal with its past as regards the twenty-year period, "Which is not difficult: just ask yourself if the good guys were also a little bit bad, and the bad guys a little bit good." And this is the purpose, declared by Garibaldi, of this book which is divided into two parts: the first describes the Ventennio, from the birth of fascism, on 23 March 1919, in Piazza San Sepolcro, in Milan - where Mussolini, then director of the newspaper he founded "Il Popolo d'Italia", he decided to convene a meeting of the various "Fasces of combat", in view of the foundation of a political party - in the end, determined by the killing of Mussolini on April 28, 1945; the second shows the biographies of numerous protagonists of the twenty-year period, both in favor and against Fascism.

Leaving aside the second part, from which the reader can draw inspiration to deepen the life of the characters mentioned in it, the first part deals with the twenty-year period in all its components: politics, art, science, literature, sport, cinema, music. , architecture. Of the latter we still have tangible examples in Rome, with the Eur district; with Piazza della Vittoria in Genoa and Brescia: all works by the architect Marcello Piacentini. Another tangible example is the "Small rural towns born on the reclamation of swamps, from Littoria (now Latina) to Sabaudia, to Pontinia."

Unfortunately, there were also wars. The war in Africa, of 1935, which had as protagonists the generals Graziani and Badoglio. The latter made his victorious entry, on May 5, 1936, in Addis Abeba, which became the capital of Abyssinia which took the name of Italian East Africa. There was the war in Spain, in 1936, where Mussolini decided to intervene alongside the "generalissimo" Franco. Then came the capture of Albania that was "The Italian response to Hitler's occupation of Bohemia in 1939."

Until arriving, on 10 June 1940, the intervention in the Second World War, with the Russian campaign which, with the loss of one hundred thousand Italian soldiers, "It was the most irreparable of the many strategic errors of the fascist regime and was at the same time the most tragic epic, steeped in episodes of incredible heroism, in the entire history of the Italian armies."

Then came July 25, 1943, with the vote on the agenda that deposed the Duce. "Historians have never been able to explain Mussolini's strange inertia in the face of the violent tirade of the Speaker of the House" Dino Grandi.

Then there was the arrest of Mussolini, on July 26, by order of the King, to arrive at the tragic September 8, with the signing of the armistice. "All the Italian military units, from the smallest unit to the army corps command, learned the news from the radio."

With the liberation of the Duce, on 12 September, by the Germans, the Italian Social Republic began. Endless pages have been written about the killing of Benito Mussolini, which took place on April 28, 1945, together with Claretta Petacci. Luciano Garibaldi develops his thesis, that is "the English trail", since, according to him, the instigators of this killing were the British services.

“What was the motive that prompted Churchill's men to neutralize Mussolini and his mistress? The fear that the two, questioned by American journalists, would reveal the contacts that existed until the end between Mussolini and Churchill and with the aim of pushing Hitler to end the resistance in the West to turn solely against the Red Army. [...] A project dishonorable to an allied power whose soldiers had died (and continued to die) by the millions, and which, if made public to the world, would have caused an irreparable harm to the prestige of Great Britain. This is why no one had to know about it. "

And the so-called “Dongo's gold” found by the partisans in the “Mussolini column? Again according to Garibaldi “It was not the state treasury of CSR, but was made up of the values ​​confiscated from the families of the Jews arrested and locked up in the camps following the racial laws. Values ​​that Mussolini intended to deliver to the winners, after the surrender in Valtellina, so that they could be returned to the survivors, demonstrating that those confiscations had not been made to enrich CSR to the detriment of the persecuted, but had been a heavy obligation deriving from the alliance with the Third Reich. " Dongo's gold, however, disappeared, along with the documents that Mussolini carried with him on the day of the capture by the partisans.

Gianlorenzo Capano

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