Mussolini and Hitler were able to provide spectacle and a strong propaganda image of mutual regard and ideological kinship, but there was always tension and ambiguity in their relationship. All the more among the leadership of their respective parties and governments. As the German power grew and Hitler’s triumphs accumulated, Mussolini felt increasingly threatened by comparison and he was determined to establish the credibility of Italy’s (and his) claim to national greatness by taking an independent course.
Tag Archives: Nazi Germany
The Uses of History, 29 – Mussolini and Fascism, 1
It is no longer very popular to suggest that anything positive or of lasting benefit was produced under a Fascist regime that lasted slightly longer than 20 years. At the time, for the first ten years or so, a good many Italians (obviously not of socialist or leftist persuasion) thought that overall conditions in the country really improved. Most people had jobs and could make ends meet, contrary to the unrest and turmoil of the years before “Musso” took power. “The trains actually run on time,” was one famous quip. The Mafia was reigned in, suffering the same brutal treatment from Fascist strong-arms that they were accustomed to use against their opponents. Godfathers going to prison was not unusual.