Mussolinis Willing Executioners
An unprecedented journey into the hell of fascist crimes, through the stories of some of its demons
In Italy there is a void in the public memory of the 20th century, a trauma that has been repressed, never faced, unresolved. That is the war crimes committed abroad during the years of fascism. These are not isolated events, but a widespread phenomenon repeated in time and space: reprisals, hostage shootings, hangings, use of chemical weapons, concentration camps, massacres of civilians that devastated entire regions, in Africa and Europe, for more than twenty years. But who were the men who carried out these horrors? Members of the fascist party? Ordinary men who simply followed orders? Or were they ‘good Italians’, who by free choice devoted themselves to war crimes for their own interest, convenience and conviction? This book offers a journey through the biographies of some of the individuals who ordered, led or actively participated in that brutal violence. Young and old, generals and soldiers, fascists or not, many of these men have consciously contributed to the suffering of so many people. A book that, through unpublished documentation, comes to terms with a past that was never meant to be seen, and that will be controversial for a long time.