By Jonathan Steinberg
Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy have been united in a 'brutal friendship'. either had savage racial legislation: either Hitler and Mussolini viciously denounced the 'Jewish menace'. but each one state taken care of the Jews rather another way. while Jews who fell into the palms of the German military have been consigned, virtually with no exception to focus camps, no longer one Jew taken by way of the Italians suffered a similar destiny. Italian officials secure not only Italian Jews, yet Jewish refugees of each nationality. Jonathan Steinberg makes use of this awesome and poignant tale to resolve the explanations and forces underpinning either Nazism and Fascism in an try and get to the bottom of the underlying query: Why?
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Extra resources for All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-43
Mussolini decided to act before the Germans won the war without any Italian participation. 8 Renzo De Felice, Mussolini’s biographer, writes: ‘Nobody made objections. ’9 Italy entered the Second World War without clear objectives, without adequate preparation and without honour. On 10 June 1940 Italy declared war on the Allies, an act which the French President, Paul Reynaud, described in a broadcast as ‘a stab in the back’ and others in even less complimentary similes. The fortnight of hostilities added to Italian embarrassment.
The swift German victory over Poland turned embarrassment into humiliation. Germany needed no assistance from Italy and Europe no longer required the Duce’s mediation. 1 Precisely what Italy would do in the war had not been deeply considered. In August of 1939 Mussolini announced to his military chiefs that in the event of an Anglo-French attack on Italy, he would order a defensive position around metropolitan Italy tied to a double offensive: one ‘certain’ against Greece and one ‘probable’ against Yugoslavia.
Extermination of Jews was not a random part of the Nazi war effort but its very heart and raison d’être. To understand how and why these Jews survived is to grasp the essence of the war itself. 18 He caught the essen tial features of the personal relations, the diverging objectives and the inevitable frictions of a war-time alliance between two totalitarian dictatorships superficially so similar but structurally so different. Yet he never mentioned the holocaust as a factor in Nazi-fascist relations.
All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-43 by Jonathan Steinberg