I often hear that Nazism is equal to fascism and such. Was there antisemitism and other kinds of repression against minorities in fascist Italy?

  • Yes for some reason the state religion in Italy holds a grudge for the crucifixion of their messiah. Feb 13, 2014 at 22:05
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    All wheels are round, all round things are not wheels. Nazism can be fascism with out fascism being Nazism. Feb 13, 2014 at 22:07
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    @SoylentGray Ironically, he (He?) was crucified by the Romans though...
    – owjburnham
    Jul 1, 2019 at 19:59
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    This question could show research. This question likely came up already somewhere. Mar 1, 2022 at 6:18

2 Answers 2


Depends, do you mean official government level or "popular" (aka "domestic" as it's called in Russia) level?

  • If government, depends on whether before or after alliance with Hitler?

    • Initially, Mussolini declared “In Italy, there will never be any anti-Semitism.” (1932) in conversation with Rabbi Goldmann of Chicago

    • However, later, it changed drastically (1938): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto_of_Race

      The laws are regarded as antisemitic in nature, stripping the Jews of Italian citizenship and with it any position in the government or professions which many previously held. The manifesto demonstrated the enormous influence Adolf Hitler had over Benito Mussolini since Italy had become allied with Nazi Germany.

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    @DanilGholtsman - "no deathcamps" and "no antisemitism at all" aren't the ONLY two choices
    – user4012
    Feb 12, 2014 at 3:42
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    @DanilGholtsman he means there are many shades of gray.
    – o0'.
    Feb 16, 2014 at 11:41
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    I have no time for a full-fledged answer but, apart from the mentioned racial laws, which excluded jews from public jobs, teaching in schools and universities and so on, and apart from the collaboration with Germany about deportations, there were camps in Italy: this is a whole book about them (in Italian): I campi del Duce (“The Duce's camps”).
    – DaG
    Jan 23, 2017 at 16:02
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    And two more books: one about Shoah in Italy (ibs.it/…) and one about persecuted Jews in Italy (ibs.it/…).
    – DaG
    Jan 27, 2017 at 9:22
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    There is a good film by Vittorio de Sica, Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini, based on a novel by Giorgio Bassani, that describes the political climate regarding the Italian Jewry under Fascism. tl; dr? It was not nice at all. Oct 29, 2018 at 23:03

It is an oversimplification to reduce Nazism to antisemitism, although antisemitism was definitely a big part of it. Originally fascism is an Italian term, referring to Mussolini's movement, but it came to encompass the ideologies that put emphasis on the national good, as opposed to individual interests (liberalism in its original sense) or economic class interests (communism). (Italian fascism historically precedes German National-socialism.)

Characteristic features of fascism are thus:

  • Suppressing individual rights in the interests of the nation - these may apply to free speech, economic rights, reproductive rights, etc.
  • Ensuring physical health of the nation - e.g., encouraging mass participation in sports.
  • Stressing the need for individual sacrifice in teh name of the nation
  • Being unscrupulous in promoting the national interests in the international arena (since one's own nation is considered superior to others)

and so on.

German national-socialism was a fascist movement in many respects. See also about its socialist credentials in How does Hitler's interpretation of "Nationalist Socialism" relate to the modern interpretation of "Socialism" and "Nationalism"?.

Italian fascism, on the other hand, didn't specifically target Jews; However, it did collaborate in deporting Jews to the concentration camps, and Jews were often first in line as possible victims in various reprisal actions.

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