An amazing piece of historical detection about the origins of the Holocaust.
Publishers WeeklyThis enlightening volume uses the story of how Hitler's memoir got published in Italy to shed light on the German dictator's effect on Mussolini's racial policies. Relying on a series of letters that are included in a lengthy appendix, Italian journalist Fabre depicts how, in early 1933, the Nazis proposed that the Italian fascists publish an Italian edition of Mein Kampf. In a secret deal, Mussolini agreed to generously sponsor the book to help defray Nazi election costs. Fabre then focuses the rest of the book on whether Mein Kampf affected Mussolini's racial theories and policies. He shows that Mussolini likely read some of Mein Kampf and then details how soon after this time, Il Duce began a purge of Jewish officials. Fabre is unable to prove any direct link, but the notion that Mussolini would have scaled down Hitler's anti-Semitic ideas for an Italian audience is plausible. The work also debunks the myth that Mussolini didn't use anti-Semitism early in his regime as a mechanism to retain power. While Fabre's argument isn't fully demonstrated, he adds a plot line to the ongoing discussion about the relationship between the two fascist leaders. 30 illus. not seen by PW. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library JournalStill in print after 80 years, Hitler's Mein Kampf, "the black book of humanity," continues to fascinate scholars. Journalist Fabre, who writes for the Italian magazine Panorama and has authored several otherworks (not yet translated into English) on the Fascist era, here uses archival documents to recount the process of the Italian translation and publication of Mein Kampf between 1933 and 1934. Unlike in other countries, Mein Kampf was sold directly to the Mussolini government, initially as a way to raise money for Nazi Germany's upcoming elections. Fabre details the negotiations between the Italian government, the publisher Bompiani, and the Nazi government, revealing the importance each placed on having Mein Kampf accessible to a wide audience. He concludes that Mein Kampf helped to influence Mussolini on matters of race, and that the publication jump-started the removal of Jews in Italy from prominent positions in both government and academe. Fabre thus refutes the idea that Italy was an unwitting or unwilling partner with Hitler. Since there is little mention of this Italian translation of Mein Kampf in biographies or histories of the era, this is an important piece of scholarship. About half the book consists of notes and appendixes (Appendix B is especially interesting, as it excerpts Mein Kampf as summarized for Mussolini during this time). Recommended for academic libraries.-Maria C. Bagshaw, Lake Erie Coll., Painesville, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
- Enigma Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Giorgio Fabre is a journalist and historian based in Rome, Italy.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >