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The Bad German and the Good Italian. The repression of the sins of the Second World War

The Bad German and the Good Italian. The repression of the sins of the Second World War
Edition: 20194
Series: EL [762]
ISBN: 9788858123850
Subject area: Contemporary history, History of Italy
  • Pages 308
  • 13,00 Euro

Short info

The Nazi soldier cast in the role of the cruel oppressor and exterminator. The Italian soldier, humane and affable, fundamentally opposed to the war. Is this a reliable picture or just another stereotype to be dismantled?

The bad German, steeped in racist ideology and ready to execute orders with brutality. Facing him, the good Italian, peaceable, empathetic, anti-war, cordial and generous even when wearing the uniform of the occupier. These are the two stereotypes which have been impressed on national public memory and enabled the formation of a grey area – the failure to reckon with the aggressive and criminal aspects of the war fought in monarchic-fascist Italy alongside the Third Reich. First it was the propaganda of the allies that distinguished between Italy and Germany, the narrative that responsibility for the war did not weigh on the Italian people but on Mussolini and his regime, which had put the fate of the country in the hands of the bloody Germanic camerata. The Italians were not guilty and the nation’s true enemy was “the German”. These arguments were reprised after 8 September by the King and Badoglio and by all the forces of anti-Fascism, initially involved in mobilizing the nation against the German oppressor and the Fascist traitor, later in claiming a non-punitive peace for the defeated country. The just exaltation of the merits earned in the war of Liberation thereby ended by covering Italian responsibilities and what prevailed was an image of self-absolution which assigned exclusive responsibility for the Axis’s crimes to Germany. Filippo Focardi analyzes how these two portrayals came about in the period between the proclamation of the armistice on 8 September 1943 and 1947, the year marking Italy’s exit from war with the signature and ratification of the Peace Treaty and the Constitution.

Sold to: Libre Université de Bruxelles (Belgio) - Schoening (Germania)

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