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Mussolini's Follies: Fascism in Its Imperial and Racist Phase, 1935–1940

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2004

Abstract

With the outbreak of war in Ethiopia in late 1935 Italian Fascism shifted into a new phase, which can be called imperial-colonialist-racial. Until 1935 Italy had invested little in the colonies and maintained a relatively small presence in Africa beyond a few cities in Libya. Yet from 1935 to 1940 the Fascist regime shifted enormous amounts of money and effort to create a new Fascist colonial society. This article attempts to explain how this happened by linking the shift to imperial politics to a new totalitarian drive to re-educate Italians and to the adoption of official racism.

Avec le déclenchement de la guerre en Ethiopie à la fin de l'année 1935, le fascisme italien entra dans une nouvelle phase qu'on peut qualifier de impérialo-colonio-raciale. Jusqu'à 1935, l'Italie s'était peu intéressée à ses colonies, en dehors d'une présence somme toute faible dans quelques villes libyennes. De 1935 à 1940, en revanche, le régime s'efforça consciencieusement et onéreusement de créer une nouvelle société coloniale fasciste. Cet article analyse ce déplacement en liant cette politique impériale avec le nouvel élan totalitaire visant à la rééducation des Italiens, et avec l'adoption d'une politique raciale.

Mit dem Ausbruch des Krieges in Äthiopien erreichte der italienische Faschismus eine neue Phase, die als imperial, kolonialistisch und rassistisch bezeichnet werden kann. Bis 1935 hatte Italien wenig in seine Kolonien investiert und unterhielt, ausserhalb einiger Städte in Lybien, nur eine relativ geringe Präsenz in Afrika. Zwischen 1935 und 1940 jedoch investierte das faschistische Regime enorme Summen und Aufwand, um eine neue faschistische koloniale Gesellschaft zu schaffen. Dieser Beitrag analysiert den Wandel zu einer imperialen Politik, indem er ihn mit einer neuen totalitären Wende hin zu einer Umerziehung der italienischen Bevölkerung und zur Übernahme des Rassismus als offizieller Ideologie verknüpft.

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Research Article
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© Cambridge University Press 2004

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