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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Following the Second World War, countries around Europe crafted narratives claiming that they had virtuously resisted fascism. Italy, France, and Austria, as well as Germany, had to establish new political systems repudiating fascism, yet building on societies that had collaborated with or supported Nazi–fascist rule. The course of this drastic transformation of individual and social perspectives produced a mix of selective forgetting and remembering. Memories of resistance were expanded into national narratives. Germany, with its greater degree of guilt, was subjected to international scrutiny that permitted it a lesser degree of denial compared with other pro-Nazi nations. A toll of ‘premature deaths’ of around a million makes Mussolini's regime scarcely the equal of Hitler's or Stalin's in the sad history of twentieth-century political killing, and its murder of Italians, as distinct from peoples under its imperial rule, was far less than that of the Francoists in Spain.

Keywords: Second World, Italy, Germany, fascism, Europe, Nazi–fascist rule, dictatorship, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini

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