Monday, 28 January 2013

Silvio Berlusconi reckons Benito Mussolini did quite well, actually, apart from those racial laws

Sunday, January 27, 2013. On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Silvio Berlusconi finds it compelling to defend Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini's deeds, another victim of the “German power”, before taking a nap on a ceremony about the Shoah he wasn't even invited to.

Berlusconi sleeping inauguration of a monument to the deported of the Shoah
Sleeping the sleep of the just?

It hasn't been the first time that Silvio Berlusconi felt like defending "poor" Mussolini, who – in the view of the former Italian prime minister – was a “benevolent leader”, who “never killed anybody” and just used to “send people on holiday”, but this time the timing seemed to be really dodgy, even for the prone-to-blunder media tycoon. 

On Sunday Silvio took part in the inauguration of a monument to the deported of the Shoah, and he must have though "what a better occasion than this one, to praise good ol' Benito?".

It is difficult – said Berlusconi on a quick TV interview – to “get yourself in the shoes of those who took decision at that time”, but "certainly the [fascist] government of those times preferred to be allied with Hitler's Germany rather than oppose it, being afraid of it.".

If anything, the recognition that Berlusconi thinks The Duce (Supreme Leader) – as Mussolini called himself – was smart enough to align with the winning side represents a praise to cowardice that does not do much justice to Italy, somebody might reckon. It might even justify the deeds of “beholden-to-Germany” Mario Monti and his cabinet!

Jews were banned from banks, schools, and other places
Italy was an “unconscious ally” of Hitler's Germany, Mussolini “did a lot of good things”, according to Silvio Berlusconi, who admits “the racial laws are the worst mistake of Mussolini”.

In 1938, as Europe headed into World War II, Mussolini's regime introduced the so-called "racial laws," defending the the “Italian race” and preventing Jews, colonies' immigrants and other “non pure” races from marrying Italians, working in universities and subjugate them to other niceties, like deportation (thousands of Jews were deported, the majority of them was killed in death camps.

Silvio Berlusconi's remark – according to many observers – aimed to please the far right leaning voters, which is part of the ailing People of Freedom party coalition set for general elections to be held in the end of February. The question is: how many are there in Italy? On February 24-25 Italians might get an answer, whilst Silvio can be sure of one thing: his stance on Fascism will hardly help him in making friendswith his European opponents.

P.S.: Incidentally Benito Mussolini was a person who had an excessive passion for women as well... coincidences?