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Open Access Blueprints of Totalitarianism: How Racist Policies in Fascist Italy Inspired and Informed Nazi Germany

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Blueprints of Totalitarianism: How Racist Policies in Fascist Italy Inspired and Informed Nazi Germany

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Racism, especially anti-Semitism, is typically seen as a crucial point of distinction between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Based on a range of new materials, this article shows that Nazi policies of social exclusion were inspired by Mussolini’s regime. The main thesis is that racist thought and action were intrinsic elements of both regimes and constituted a unifying element between them. The paper looks at the way the National Socialists used Fascist Italy as a foil for their own dreams of racial regeneration before Hitler’s rise to power. It also examines the cooperation between the two regimes following the 1936 Axis alliance, especially in terms of policing and the exchange of information about ‘Aryanisation’. Conceptually speaking, the article argues that the methods of cultural history are highly useful for shedding new light on Axis relations.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Archeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Patrick.Bernhard@iakh.uio.no

10.1163/22116257-00602001
/content/journals/10.1163/22116257-00602001
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Racism, especially anti-Semitism, is typically seen as a crucial point of distinction between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Based on a range of new materials, this article shows that Nazi policies of social exclusion were inspired by Mussolini’s regime. The main thesis is that racist thought and action were intrinsic elements of both regimes and constituted a unifying element between them. The paper looks at the way the National Socialists used Fascist Italy as a foil for their own dreams of racial regeneration before Hitler’s rise to power. It also examines the cooperation between the two regimes following the 1936 Axis alliance, especially in terms of policing and the exchange of information about ‘Aryanisation’. Conceptually speaking, the article argues that the methods of cultural history are highly useful for shedding new light on Axis relations.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22116257-00602001
2017-12-08
2018-09-24

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