‘Questo secolo.’ 1935 e dintorni (‘This century.’ 1935 and surroundings ep. 3 ‘Faccetta nera’)

18 May 1982

(ID Teca: P82138/001) In this program by Enzo Biagi, broadcast on 18th of May 1982, the famous conservative journalist Indro Montanelli recalls what the encounter with fascism was for him and for his pre-adolescent generation, argues the contradictory nature of Mussolini's positions, the progressive involution of his political lucidity, and concludes with the opinion that it was not Mussolini who killed Italian democracy but that he only buried it, after it had already committed suicide.

The courage and the pity

9 November 1986

(ID Teca: C42711) This touching interview by Primo Levi - one of the last given in his life - concerns the help he received while he was imprisoned in Auschwitz by an Italian who was foreign to the concentration camp (Lorenzo Perrone), also mentioned in “Se questo è un uomo”. Levi’s testimony is part of the two-part investigation by Nicola Caracciolo into acts of solidarity carried out by Italians towards Jews during the war. The basic thesis of the investigation (broadcast on 9th and 16th November 1986 on Rai2), presented here by the narrator, was then largely refuted by subsequent historiography. However, interviews like Levi’s show how much was then shared by the most lucid Jewish intellectuals themselves.

Read the transcript

Historiography

Il fascismo e il consenso degli intellettuali (Fascism and the consensus of intellectuals)
Il fallimento del liberalismo (The failure of liberalism)
Il mito dello stato nuovo (The myth of the new state)
Storia del partito fascista (History of the fascist party)

Culture and politics

Bologna massacre

Bologna massacre

On the 2nd of August at 10.25 am, in the waiting room of Bologna Centrale station, a time-bomb explodes, contained in an abandoned suitcase, killing 85 people and injuring over 200. It is one of the most serious acts of terrorism since World War II. On 23rd November 1995, the Supreme Court sentenced to life imprisonment the neo-fascists of NAR Giuseppe Valerio Fioravanti and Francesca Mambro, perpetrators of the attack (who have always declared themselves innocent), while the former head of P2 Licio Gelli, Former SISMI agent Francesco Pazienza and military secret service officers Pietro Musumeci and Giuseppe Belmonte will be convicted of misdirecting the investigation. On 9th June 2000 the Court of Assizes of Bologna issued new convictions for misdirection. Those responsible of the massacre have never been identified.

Walter Reder released

Walter Reder released

The government led by the socialist Bettino Craxi, ordered the release of Walter Reder (convicted in 1951 for the massacre of Marzabotto-Monte Sole and on parole from 1980 by decision of the Military Court of Bari, although in a state of preventive detention). The decision of the Italian government (which hastily ordered Reder’s return to Austria by military plane) sparked controversy and anger among the families of the victims of the massacres. Reder is greeted by Defense Minister Friedhelm Frischenschagler, sparking worldwide indignation.

The institutional reform of the state

The institutional reform of the state

Bettino Craxi and Gianfranco Fini (respectively secretary of the PSI and leader of the Italian Social Movement) meet to discuss the State’s institutional reform; during the talks the need to abolish the constitutional rules prohibiting the reconstitution of the fascist party and therefore to overcome the discriminating fascism/ anti-fascism is established.

“Italians good people”

“Italians good people”

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the introduction of racial laws in Italy, a new awareness is spreading in the country with some important implications in the promotion of public memory. Historiographical research such as that of Michele Sarfatti calls into question the narrative of fascist anti-Semitism as a sweetened model of the Nazi one, imposed by Berlin against the feelings  of the "Italian good people". Studies on the capillarity of anti-Semitic legislation and the proven responsibility of Italians in the deportation and extermination of Jews reveal the embarrassing face of an Italy indifferent to the horrors of the Shoah.