- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-5713-3
- Pages: 352
- Price: £85.00
- Published Date: August 2023
- Series: Cultural History of Modern War
In the Axis War on the side of Germany, Mussolini's Italy was responsible for serious war crimes, especially in Yugoslavia and Greece. This 'dark side' of the fascist war, however, is not present in the national memory built after 1945. To distinguish Italy from the former German ally and avoid a punitive peace, the monarchist and anti-fascist ruling classes elaborated a master narrative that highlighted the opposition of the Italian people to Mussolini's war and the humanitarian behavior of Italian soldiers, depicted as saviors of Jews. All responsibility for the crimes committed in the Axis war was placed on the shoulders of the Germans, who thus became a convenient alibi for the national conscience.
1 Italy and the Axis in Allied propaganda
2 Who betrayed their country?
3 The origins of war memory
4 'Italy won too': atonement and redemption of a 'nation underground'
5 Forgetting the Axis
6 'Good Italians' and 'bad Germans'
7 Humans or Germans?
Filippo Focardi is a Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Padua