The Italian Resistance in Historical Transition: Class War, Patriotic War or Civil War?

Eras Journal – Kelly, M: “The Itlaian Resistance in Historical Transition: Class War, Patriotic War or Civil War?”

The Italian Resistance in Historical Transition: Class War, Patriotic War or Civil War?
Michael Kelly
(University of Melbourne)

At the end of April 1945, victorious Allied troops finally forced their way into the north of Italy after months of stalemate in the Apennine mountains of central Italy. To their surprise, they found not German troops in command of the major towns and cities of northern Italy, but Italian partisans. The forces of the Italian Resistance were in a seemingly impregnable position of power: they had emerged victoriously from an eighteen-month-long armed struggle against the German occupying army and Fascist Republic of Salò. They had liberated the towns and cities of the north; they had successfully protected the northern industrial infrastructure from destruction at the hands of the Germans; and they had installed Committees of National Liberation (CLN) throughout the north. These committees controlled local government, industrial production, and public utilities, instigating the purging of Fascists from government bureaucracy and private industry. Within a month of the Allied breakthrough their leaders would be installed in power heading a government of national unity under the leadership of the Action Party’s (PdA) Ferruccio Parri.

While the military contribution of the Italian Resistance is generally recognised by most historians, this is not to state that the historiographical debate surrounding Italian Fascism, the Resistance and their respective historical roles is without interest to historians of Italy. On the contrary, the discussion has not only been heated and bitter but also highly politicised. Without an understanding of this historiographical debate, it is impossible to place the role of the partisan movement in the general context of Italian history. The debate has been characterised, from the early post-war period until the present day, by transitory fluctuation. This fluctuation has always been linked, however, to the question of ideological possession of a politically useable reconstruction of the past. Ownership of the Resistance – and thus of the Italian past and present – was, and is, at the heart of the historiographical debate. In general, it is possible to isolate three key groupings in the historiography: the liberals, the Marxists, and the conservative school centred on Renzo De Felice. Among these schools the Resistance has been defined as a revolutionary movement; a patriotic war of national unity; and simply as a civil war in which neither side could claim the moral high ground. The debate has underlined the transitory nature of historical study and, in particular, the political uses of the past and its reconstruction.

Immediately after the fall of Fascism in 1945, two of these schools emerged: the liberals and the Marxists. The liberals argued that liberal Italy was not the root of Fascism – rather it seemed to them to have originated in World War One and revolutionism (particularly that inspired by the Bolsheviks). The Marxists argued that Fascism was instead the ‘revelation’ of Italian history and that post-1945 Italy was not necessarily exorcised of Fascism.[1]

In any evaluation of the liberal wing of Italian historiography, Benedetto Croce is the key writer. [2] One could define him as a self-interested liberal (along with others) who defended his own social grouping against charges of responsibility for the rise of Fascism.[3] Croce developed his theory of Fascism as a ‘parenthesis’ in Italian history – an anomaly which began in the 1920s and ended in 1943-44: a movement outside the ‘normal’, healthy historical development of the nation, a movement ended by war and the Resistance.[4]

A key element of this liberal vision was a distinct anti-Communism. It fed on internal politics and the developing Cold War in Europe.

As early as 1959, Denis Mack Smith – then regarded as the pre-eminent foreign scholar of modern Italy – evaluated the situation in his Italy: A Modern History. Foremost in Mack Smith’s thinking was a pronounced anti-Communism and a propensity to see the war in Italy as a civil war.[5] Mack Smith believed that the primary cause of the civil war that commenced with the fall of Fascism in 1943 was the rescue of Mussolini by German troops on 12 September 1943. [6] In conjunction with some support amongst Italians for a continued Fascist state, Mack Smith believed that Mussolini’s escape from Ponza ‘launch[ed] their country into a civil war.’ [7]

Mack Smith described the war itself between the Resistance and the Republic of Salò as ‘a growing fever of terroristic reprisal and counterreprisal.’[8] Furthermore, as the war neared its conclusion, political purging in Italy proved easier than in France; Fascism had tainted almost everyone in Italy and, therefore, discrimination between degrees of complicity was less important. [9] This theme was taken up by historians of the 1980s and 1990s. [10]

Overall, Mack Smith saw the partisans as a mixed blessing. They restored morale to Italy, but gave the Communists a disproportionate influence in local government and the electoral machinery. They also injected bitterness into Italian social relations, promoting disrespect for the law and increasing class tensions. Mack Smith accused the partisans of ‘violent and summary measures’. ‘Liberation’ was an excuse for personal vendettas. [11] Mack Smith did, however, credit the partisans with saving Italian industrial infrastructure from the Germans, greatly assisting the post-war return to prosperity.[12]

The liberal tradition survived beyond the early Cold War. In 1972 John Clarke Adams and Paolo Barile released The Government of Republican Italy. Adams and Barile presented an account of the theory and practice of the Italian Republic in the context of a self-confessed liberal democratic outlook.[13] To them, the Constitution was the core of the Republic. Its foundations were in the Resistance, which gave Italy the moral purging necessary to place the nation amongst civilised nations once again.[14] This echoed Croce’s vision of Fascism as a ‘parenthesis’ in Italian history: a parenthesis closed by the Resistance.

The legitimacy of the Resistance (and implicitly the new Republic) was founded on the 200,000 Italians who fought in the Resistance and the other 200,000 engaged in their support. This support was spontaneous and more than 100,000 partisans and civilians died in the struggle, making their losses greater than Allied losses throughout the entire Italian campaign. [15] In the eyes of Adams and Barile, the Resistance was, in effect, the fulfilment of theRisorgimento (the nineteenth century movement for the unification of Italy) – a struggle for liberty and justice – but unlike the Risorgimento, it was popular and a mass movement, not an elitist enterprise.[16] The liberal notion of the Resistance as a truly national enterprise was restated. It was not limited to class war or civil war, but was part of the movement of the Italian national project, begun with the Risorgimento and continued by all progressive political forces.

The second strand in the historiography of the Resistance was distinctly Marxist. Among the first of such works was Roberto Battaglia’s 1953 publication, Storia della resistenza italiana(History of the Italian Resistance). Battaglia, an ex-Giustizia e Libertà (Justice and Liberty) partisan, linked the 1943 industrial strikes in northern Italy to a loss of faith in the Fascist regime amongst the masses.[17] The proletariat, for him, was one of the key players in the Resistance. He also asserted that the Republic of Salò had no popular base.[18] Battaglia saw the pro-Resistance forces as generally united; Communists had played a major role in the Resistance, but the real driving force was patriotism.[19] The Resistance had redeemed lost Italian honour. [20] Ironically, Battaglia mirrored the liberal position in certain ways: both stressed the patriotic, nationalist nature of the Resistance.

Battaglia inaugurated what came to be known as the ‘myth of the Resistance’ which would dominate the 1960s. [21]It began with American Charles Delzell’s Mussolini’s Enemies: the Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance in 1961. Delzell, like liberal Italian historians, identified the armed Resistance as the ‘Second Risorgimento’ and the crucial element in the making of the new democratic Republic. [22] Communist historians also continued to propagate the myth of the Resistance throughout the decade: Paolo Spriano, Renato Zangheri, Giuliano Procacci and Giorgio Amendola all made key contributions. Anti-Fascism dominated their histories emphasising the Italian Communists (PCI) as natural leaders of a Resistance with a genuine mass base that embraced other political factions. [23] Typical of these histories was Giuliano Procacci’s 1968 work, History of the Italian People. In his chapter covering the war and post-war period, Procacci followed a Marxist interpretation of the Resistance and its impact on post-war Italy. For Procacci, the basis for the anti-Fascist struggle was laid down by the proletarians of Parma, Rome, the old quarter of Bari – and especially in the Turin strikes of August 1922.[24]

According to Procacci, the Communists, who advocated propaganda, agitation and strikes within Italy, were the true core of the Resistance. They alone maintained militants within Italy, particularly in Turin, Tuscany and Venezia-Giulia. They also developed the deepest analysis of the Fascist victory in Italy and, through Antonio Gramsci, advocated a worker-peasant bloc to oppose the industrial-agrarian bloc that Fascism represented. [25]

In September 1943 partisan units had begun to form. The first partisan bands were formed by Communists and the Action Party but were soon joined by autonomous groups led by regular army officers following Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio’s declaration of war on Germany in October 1943. [26] Worried about the political implications of the Resistance, the Allies wanted a force auxiliary to their military requirements, but – Allied control of the flow of arms to specific partisan groups, and military declarations for demobilisation such as the Alexander Proclamation notwithstanding – failed to limit the Resistance to this.[27] The Resistance, in fact – in the opinion of Procacci – was not merely a military force, but a wide political movement: a movement that expressed national regeneration and rejected political transformism. It was a movement of workers, fighters, peasants and even priests. [28]

Procacci believed that following the war Italians refused to assess the reality that had befallen Italy during Fascism. This led to a withdrawal from the change and innovation that the Resistance offered – by politicians and public alike – and led to the politically reactionary movement known as qualunquismo.[29] In this environment, the forces of conservatism and privilege – although initially isolated following the liberation – found consensus and a mass base through the Christian Democrat Party (DC) and managed to retain their traditional dominance.[30] The DC thus won the support of the forces of conservatism but also of other Italians fearful of Communism.[31]

Procacci was convinced that the unity of the Resistance was swept away by the Cold War.[32] The workers, peasants and intellectuals who had struggled for a new order during the Resistance were therefore faced with two choices in the post-war era: unrewarding hard struggle or resignation.[33]

The 1970s saw the PCI propose an image of the Resistance as a ‘popular front’ of all progressive forces united in the struggle against Fascism. This was, in fact, the restatement of Comintern policy. By the mid-seventies the defence of anti-Fascism had become a northern Italian cause (particularly at the University of Turin with Guido Quazza and Nicola Tranfaglia as driving forces). Quazza and Tranfaglia rejected Croce’s ‘parenthesis’ theory, noting the survival of Fascist forms into the new Republic.[34]

By the 1990s the ‘myth of the Resistance’ was under constant attack from more conservative historians, primarily based in Rome and led by Renzo De Felice. In particular, the morality of the Resistance was itself under scrutiny.[35]The Left in turn moved to a more defensive posture, and was simultaneously forced to make concessions to the conservatives. In 1990 historian Paul Ginsborg published his book entitled A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics 1943-1988. In his chapters concerning the Resistance and the period of post-war reconstruction, Ginsborg highlighted not only the sense of unity of action of the various anti-Fascist parties, but also the strategic weakness of policies conducted by the Communists. For Ginsborg, Italian workers were again the first to show opposition to the Fascist regime. On 5 March 1943 there were strikes at the Rasetti factory in Turin and also at FIAT Mirafiori. They began as a protest against workers’ conditions but soon took on a somewhat political tone, spreading throughout Turin and the north, eventually involving over 100,000 workers. In April, employers and the government were forced to grant concessions.[36] The working class also led the resistance to the Republic of Salò and the Germans. In March 1944 more strikes erupted, this time political in nature. In the province of Milan alone, 300,000 workers went out on strike and they were brutally repressed. [37] In contrast, considerable sections of the petit bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie continued to support Mussolini in the north. [38] Most industrialists, however, played a double game when it became apparent that the Axis would lose the war. Vittorio Valletta, managing director of FIAT, for example, assisted the Allies in limiting production but did little to save the anti-Fascist militants at FIAT. In 1945 an English officer saved him from partisan justice. [39] Ginsborg, therefore, underlined the class nature of the anti-Fascist struggle. One major effect of the war was, thus, the recomposition of working class solidarity that had been undermined during the Fascist period.[40] Critically, and controversially, however, Ginsborg claimed that another effect was civil war, even amongst the working class itself, as working class families with differing allegiances settled old scores and waged vendettas. [41]

The arrival of German troops in the north was the critical factor that created a new spirit of resistance, although, according to Ginsborg, in a very restricted minority of the population.[42] The newly founded government of Salò was no more than a figurehead for the Germans. In fact, it was the Germans who controlled northern Italy.[43] The beginnings of Nazi rule thus prompted the Resistance. In the early days of this anti-Fascist Resistance, the Communists of the Garibaldi brigades were the vanguard, making up more than seventy per cent of all partisans. [44]While underlining Communist leadership, Ginsborg conceded that the early partisan bands were very mixed, with some members fighting for ideological reasons, others to escape the call-up of the Republic of Salò, some ex-POWs and radical middle class youths and workers escaping persecution.[45] Ginsborg believed that despite brutal German retaliatory actions, such as the massacre at Boves in September 1943, the movement grew to 20,000-30,000 members by spring 1944.[46] The great number of Communists in the Resistance, however, worried the Allies. The Allies, therefore – especially the British – wanted to minimise the role of the Resistance and to guarantee that no unforeseen political consequences emerged from partisan action, as had been the case in Greece and Yugoslavia.[47]

Importantly, Ginsborg negated the revolutionary aspect of the Resistance, seeing it instead as a reformist, unitary movement. Ginsborg asserted that the ‘turning-point of Salerno,’ where the Communist Party abandoned revolutionary action – favouring instead a policy of national unity, progressive democracy and a lasting coalition of the mass popular parties – was neither original nor taken autonomously. Rather, the Communist leader Palmiro Togliatti followed the broad ideas of the Comintern’s seventh congress in July 1935.[48] Soviet military needs were also to be accommodated: the PCI could not risk souring relations with the Allies at a time when the USSR vitally needed military relief from its allies.[49] Togliatti also saw a revolutionary struggle as impossible given that Allied forces occupied Italy. [50] Togliatti’s ideas were reinforced by decades of defeat for the Italian Communist movement.[51] Togliatti adopted and adapted Gramsci’s concept of a ‘war of position,’ where the struggle for working class hegemony over civil society would precede the insurrectionary struggle. He emphasised not only social alliances from the bottom up, but political alliances from the top down, of which the alliance with the DC would become the most difficult. Furthermore, he envisaged a very wide social alliance that would include much of the ceti medi, or Italian middle classes. [52]

In a positive vein, Ginsborg commended the PCI strategy as it avoided the decimation of the Communist movement in Italy, as outright revolution would have led to Allied intervention. The PCI’s commitment to unity also strengthened the Resistance and placed the party at the centre of national politics. [53] The strategy of national unity, however, came to supplant all other policies concerning social and institutional reform. At the height of partisan and workers’ power, the Resistance squandered its leading role and left the field open for its opponents to manoeuvre for position. The Allies and conservative forces, therefore, were able to outflank the Communists completely.[54] In this sense, PCI recognition of the government of Pietro Badoglio, and, therefore, the legitimacy of the King, began the process of the ‘continuity of the state’ that would see a conservation of all anti-reform elements in the state bureaucracy. [55]

Ginsborg concluded that although the development of the DC into a mass party and the Allied military presence in Italy might have made revolution very unlikely, it could not block social reform. But, according to Ginsborg, the unrepeatable opportunities for revolutionary change, which the Resistance offered, were unfortunately squandered. The Allies and the conservative forces were partly to blame for this, but responsibility also rested with the left-wing parties, and, in particular, the PCI. Their policy of national unity, above all else, and their decision to await a future date for reform meant that such reform would never occur. [56]

Within the Marxist school, Claudio Pavone’s Una guerra civile (A Civil War) of 1991 was another in a line of works asserting that the armed Resistance was at the same time a patriotic, civil and class war, thereby refuting the theories of the more conservative historians who attempted to portray the Resistance as a civil war in which the values of the competing forces were irrelevant.[57] This defensive posture against the conservative historians culminated in the publication of E Abele uccise Caino (And Abel Killed Cain) by Ezio Maria Simini in 2000, a work which attempted to justify the morality of the Resistance in the context of civil war. [58]

Renzo De Felice led the conservative force that had placed the Marxists in such a defensive position. De Felice argued that the Communists could make no claim to a useable anti-Fascist past: they could not claim to have led the Resistance. [59] In fact, the Resistance was better termed a ‘civil war,’ following which, the anti-Fascists, led by the Communists, had destroyed Italian national identity through disseminating an anti-history of falsity and myth, preventing Italy’s spiritual reconstruction. [60] De Felice and his school believed that the problem with modern Italy was a lack of (good) nationalism, which had been evident since the fall of Fascism.[61] De Felice defined this nationalism simply as ‘science’ or ‘truth.’ In fact, in his own mind, De Felice was himself a ‘scientific,’ ‘objective’ historian. The implication was that other historians who challenged his interpretation of Fascism and anti-Fascism, particularly those of Marxist persuasions, were inferior, as they did not apply a ‘scientific’ or ‘objective’ analysis.[62]

De Felice’s attack on the anti-Fascist interpretation of the past, particularly following his 1975 interview with Michael Ledeen ‘Intervista sul fascismo‘ (‘Interview on Fascism’),[63] polarised the historiography of Fascism. Even moderates were drawn into this polarised debate: a debate which saw a greater emphasis on criticism of the Resistance, and in particular, the Communists. In 1984, Martin Clark published Modern Italy, 1871-1982 . Clark stressed that of all the political groups of the Resistance, the Communists were the main motivators and beneficiaries. The Garibaldini(Communist partisans) made up sixty per cent of all partisans and Communists who agitated for strikes, higher wages and threatened employers.[64] The secretary of the party, Togliatti, was cautious.

Not wanting to see a repetition in Italy of the British military action which was taking place in Greece against Communist partisans, and desirous of American economic aid, he decided not to use the Resistance as a force for revolution. He preferred to remain a part of the anti-Fascist establishment.[65] Clark maintained that while the Resistance made a far from negligible military contribution, the true effects of its work were political. The partisans prevented a unilateral Allied-imposed post-war political settlement, and achieved a new national unity based on anti-Fascist terms. The Communists benefited most, gaining legitimacy in Italy thanks to their major contribution to the Resistance.[66] The Resistance, however, had been a ‘primitive’ popular rebellion with no united political or social program and no outstanding leader. Clark saw the early partisan movement as a local, rather than national, spontaneous popular uprising that was often of an anti-State nature rather than specifically anti-Fascist.[67] 

In fact, some partisan groups, particularly the early bands, were outsiders who operated as outlaws and even terrorised the local peasants.[68]Nevertheless, the Resistance achieved surprising results.[69] There were, however, some unfortunate implications for the future in the victory of the Resistance: the movement had been far less revolutionary and united than later believed and certain unpleasant aspects of political violence could be attached to the ‘values of the Resistance.’ One such aspect concerned the purging of Fascists by the political wing of the Resistance, the Committees for National Liberation – an activity labelled ‘murder’ by Clark.[70] Finally, Clark saw the Resistance as primarily a northern experience, the south being relatively uninvolved.[71]

By the early 1990s the criticism of the ‘myth of the Resistance’ intensified. Journalistic campaigns such as the ‘triangolo della morte‘ (‘triangle of death’), attacking the alleged crimes of Communist partisans against civilians in Emilia-Romagna abounded in the Italian press.[72] At the same time, although unconnected to the ‘triangle of death’ campaign, historians such as Roger Absalom claimed that most Italians did not want to join the armed struggle, nor participate in political upheavals, simply preferring an end to trouble.[73]

 In contrast to the conventional historical interpretation, Absalom believed that the mass of the population supported the liberation movement only in the sense that to survive was itself to resist.[74] This peasant ambivalence to the Resistance had several causes. First, Absalom suggested that relations between partisans and peasants were often bad following intensive military activity and the German reprisals which followed. [75] Secondly, partisan behaviour towards peasant property increased tension between the two groups. Absalom claimed that by September 1944 there was widespread peasant ambivalence to the Resistance throughout the north, owing to the indiscriminate requisitioning of produce by partisan groups.[76] F

Finally, Absalom argued that although the peasants hated both Germans and Fascists, their relationship with the partisans was still problematic. While they gave symbolic support to the partisans, the interests and perceptions of the Resistance fighters and politicians had always clashed with those of the peasantry. The partisans, particularly the leadership, were generally urban orientated and did not reflect the peasants’ concerns with the local milieu of village life.[77] Absalom even saw the support of factory workers for the Resistance as problematic.

The March 1943 strikes in Turin, Genoa and Milan of one million workers were spontaneous and, although they quickly turned from being economically motivated to an anti-war statement, they were in no way inspired or controlled by the Communist precursor of the Resistance. The strike of June 1944 was, however, anti-German as was that of April 1945 directed by the Resistance. Before 1945, however, factory workers were not simply a tool of the Resistance.[78] Finally, Absalom stressed the existence of major divisions and tensions within the Resistance movement itself.[79]

This ‘anti-anti-Fascist’ argument became particularly evident in 1997 with the publication of De Felice’s final section of his biography of Mussolini, Mussolini l‘alleato 1940-1945 IILa guerra civile 1943-1945 (Mussolini the Ally 1940-1945 II. The Civil War 1943-1945). De Felice advanced the case of the school of ‘Resistance as civil war.’ He argued that the competing parties in the ‘civil war’ could not be separated morally: [80] to him, the Communist partisans represented the USSR, not a popular Italian mass base, while the Salò militia represented German interests.[81]Ordinary Italians had remained uncommitted and simply wished for an end to the war. [82] Thus, it seemed there was no moral distinction between the warring parties during the final stages of the Second World War in Italy, only vying sectional interests.

De Felice went on to emphasise the distinction between Fascism and Nazism. He claimed that the Italo-German alliance was tactical rather than ideological, and that Fascism bore no responsibility for the Holocaust or other Nazi crimes.[83] Finally, the commitment of De Felice and his heir apparent, Emilio Gentile,[84] to a ‘de-politicised’ history (which was implicit in their ‘scientific’ method) had failed: it did not lead to a rational, apolitical examination of the past, but, as historian Richard Bosworth has pointed out, instead spawned only an ‘anti-anti-Fascist’ orthodoxy.[85]The outcome of the De Felicean-dominated 1990s was, therefore, a revisionism in which the crimes of Fascism were ignored in favour of a critique of the failings of anti-Fascism.[86]

The historiographical debate over the meaning of the Italian Resistance underlines both the transitory nature of the historical study of the movement, and the political and ideological desire to possess the past and its reconstruction. There have been shifts in interpretation over time, but crucially these have been associated with changing political-ideological positions. From the early post-war period liberals and Marxists acted and reacted in order to project a useable historical reconstruction. Both schools adopted the concept of the Resistance as a unified national war of liberation, though for different motives. The liberals needed to stress their link to the anti-Fascist movement in order to deflect criticism that associated them with the rise of Fascism.

The Marxists instead developed the concept as a response to the PCI’s rejection of revolutionary insurrection that began with the ‘turning-point of Salerno.’ At the same time, it was crucial to highlight the role of the proletariat in the Resistance and the leadership of the PCI. This became particularly important with the rise of the De Felicean school and its concept of ‘Resistance as civil war.’ De Felice’s criticism of the ‘myth of the Resistance’ undermined the moral integrity of the Resistance, and thus implicitly of the PCI. For the Marxists it became necessary to insist on the national and unifying nature of the struggle, even as concessions – such as the possibility of Resistance as class war, national liberation and civil war – were made. De Felice’s theories were themselves to become instrumentalised during the 1990s.

As the political mood in Italy shifted distinctly to the centre-right, political forces such as Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Gianfranco Fini’s neo-rightAlleanza Nazionale found it useful to incorporate a vision of the past in which the Communists were not seen as the moral guardians of national rebirth, and the forces of the Republic of Salò were to an extent rehabilitated. After all, they represented merely one side in a civil war in which no moral distinction could be made. The key, therefore, to understanding the transitory nature of the historiographical debate over the Resistance is its link to the ideological possession of a politically useable reconstruction of the past.

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[1] R. J. B. Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives in the Interpretation of Mussolini and Fascism, London, Arnold, 1998, pp. 52-3. Back

[2] Renzo De Felice, ‘Italian Historiography since the Second World War,’ in R. J. B. Bosworth and Gianfranco Cresciani (eds), Altro Polo: A Volume of Italian Studies, F. May Foundation, Sydney, 1979, p. 162. Back

[3] Renzo De Felice, Le interpretazioni del fascismo, 9th ed., Laterza, Rome, 1983, pp. 29-30. Back

[4] R. J. B. Bosworth, ‘Nations Examine their Past: A Comparative Analysis of the Historiography of the “Long” Second World War,’ The History Teacher 29, 4, 1996, p. 507. Back

[5] Denis Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1959, p. 491; p. 493.Back

[6] Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, p. 488. Back

[7] Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, p. 491. Back

[8] Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, p. 491. Back

[9] Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, p. 493. Back

[10] For example, see Renzo De Felice,Mussolini l‘alleato: la guerra civile 1943-1945, G. Einaudi, Turin, 1997-1998, p. 125. Back

[11] Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, p. 493. Back

[12] Mack Smith, Italy: A Modern History, p. 493. Back

[13] John Clarke Adams and Paolo Barile, The Government of Republican Italy, 3rd ed., Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1972, p. v. Back

[14] Adams and Barile, The Government of Republican Italy, p. 13. Back

[15] Adams and Barile, The Government of Republican Italy, p. 13.Back

[16] Adams and Barile, The Government of Republican Italy, p. 13. Back

[17] Roberto Battaglia, The Story of the Italian Resistance, Odhams Press, London, 1957, pp. 31-2. Back

[18] Battaglia, The Story of the Italian Resistance, p. 169. Back

[19] Battaglia, The Story of the Italian Resistance, pp. 147-9. Back

[20] Battaglia, The Story of the Italian Resistance, p. 281. Back

[21] Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship, p. 186. Back

[22] Charles Floyd Delzell, Mussolini’s Enemies: The Italian Anti-Fascist Resistance, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1961, p. 295. Back

[23] See works by Giorgio Amendola, Fascismo e movimento operaio, Editori riuniti, Rome, 1975; Giorgio Amendola,Gli anni della repubblica , Editori riuniti, Rome, 1976; Giorgio Amendola,Intervista sull’antifascismo, Bari, 1976; Giorgio Amendola, Storia del partito comunista italiano 1921-1943, Editori riuniti, Rome, 1978; Giuliano Procacci, History of the Italian People , trans. Anthony Paul, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1968, reprint, 1978; Paolo Spriano, Storia del partito comunista italiano I: da Bordiga a Gramsci, Giulio Einaudi, Turin, 1967; Paolo Spriano, Storia del partito comunista italiano II: gli anni della clandestinità, Giulio Einaudi, Turin, 1969; Paolo Spriano, Storia del partito comunista italiano III: i fronti popolari, Giulio Einaudi, Turin, 1970; Paolo Spriano, Storia del partito comunista italiano IV. La fine del fascismo: dalla riscossa operaia alla lotta armata, Giulio Einaudi, Turin, 1973; Paolo Spriano, Storia del partito comunista italiano V: la resistenza. Togliatti e il partito nuovo, Giulio Einaudi, Turin, 1975; Paolo Spriano, Storia di Torino operaia e socialista: da De Amicis a Gramsci, G. Einaudi, Turin, 1972; Renato Zangheri, Agricoltura e contadini nella storia d’Italia, Giulio Einaudi, Turin, 1977. Back

[24] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 419. Back

[25] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 437. Back

[26] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 449. Back

[27] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 451. Back

[28] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 452. Back

[29] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 453. Back

[30] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 453. Back

[31] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 454. Back

[32] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 457. Back

[33] Procacci, History of the Italian People, p. 458. Back

[34] G. Quazza, Resistenza e storia d’Italia: problemi e ipotesi di ricerca, Feltrinelli, Milan, 1976; Nicola Tranfaglia, Un passato scomodo: fascismo e postfascismo, Editori Laterza, Bari, 1996, p. 9. Back

[35] See for example Renzo De Felice,Mussolini l ‘alleato: la guerra civile 1943-1945, G. Einaudi, Turin, 1997-1998, p. 125; Martin Clark, Modern Italy, 1871-1982 , Longman, London; New York, 1984, p.317; and Ernesto Galli della Loggia, La morte della patria: la crisi dell’idea della nazione tra resistenza, antifascismo e repubblica, Laterza, Bari, 1996, pp. 125-61. Back

[36] Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics 1943-1988 , Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1990, p. 10. Back

[37] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 22. Back

[38] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 22. Back

[39] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 23.Back

[40] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 21. Back

[41] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 21. Back

[42] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 14. Back

[43] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 14. Back

[44] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 15. Back

[45] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 16. Back

[46] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 17. Back

[47] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, pp. 41-42. Back

[48] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, pp. 43-44. Back

[49] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 44. Back

[50] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 44. Back

[51] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 44. Back

[52] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 45. Back

[53] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, pp. 46-47. Back

[54] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 47. Back

[55] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 48. Back

[56] Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, p. 52. Back

[57] Claudio Pavone, Una guerra civile: saggio storico sulla moralità nella resistenza, 1st ed., Bollati Boringhieri, Turin, 1991, p. xi. Back

[58] Ezio Maria Simini, E Abele uccise Caino: elementi per una rilettura critica del bimestre della ‘Resa dei conti’, Grafica BM Marcolin, Schio, 2000. Back

[59] Bosworth, ‘Nations Examine their Past’, p. 508. Back

[60] Renzo De Felice, Rosso e nero, Baldini & Castoldi, Milan, 1995, pp. 31-32. Back

[61] Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship, p. 88. Back

[62] De Felice, Rosso e nero, p. 7; MacGregor Knox, ‘The Fascist Regime, its Foreign Policy and its Wars: an anti-anti-Fascist Orthodoxy?’,Contemporary European History, 4, 1995, p. 348. Back

[63] See Renzo De Felice, Fascism: An Informal Introduction to its Theory and Practice, Transaction Books, New Brunswick, 1976. Back

[64] Martin Clark, Modern Italy, 1871-1982, Longman, London; New York, 1984, pp. 312-13. Back

[65] Clark, Modern Italy , p. 313.Back

[66] Clark, Modern Italy, p. 315.Back

[67] Clark, Modern Italy, p. 311.Back

[68] Clark, Modern Italy, p. 310.Back

[69] Clark, Modern Italy, p. 316.Back

[70] Clark, Modern Italy, p. 317.Back

[71] Clark, Modern Italy, p. 316.Back

[72] David Ward, Antifascisms: Cultural Politics in Italy 1943-46: Benedetto Croce and the Liberals, Carlo Levi and the ‘Actionists’, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; Associated University Presses, Madison; London, 1996, p. 211.Back

[73] Roger Absalom, A Strange Alliance: Aspects of Escape and Survival in Italy 1943-45, L.S. Olschki Editore, Florence, 1991, p. 305. Back

[74] Roger Absalom, Italy Since 1800: A Nation in the Balance?, Longman, London, 1995, p. 180. Back

[75] Absalom, A Strange Alliance, p. 80.Back

[76] Absalom, A Strange Alliance, p. 161. Back

[77] Absalom, A Strange Alliance, p. 307. Back

[78] Absalom, Italy Since 1800, p. 173.Back

[79] Absalom, A Strange Alliance, p. 79.Back

[80] Renzo De Felice, Mussolini l ‘alleato: la guerra civile 1943-1945, G. Einaudi, Turin, 1997-1998, p. 125. Back

[81] De Felice, Mussolini l‘alleato: la guerra civile, pp. 173-75. Back

[82] De Felice, Mussolini l ‘alleato: la guerra civile, p. 178. Back

[83] Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship, p. 27. Back

[84] See for example Gentile’s support of De Felice in Emilio Gentile, ‘Fascism in Italian Historiography: In Search of an Individual Historical Identity,’ Journal of Contemporary History , 21, 1986, pp. 183-84. Back

[85] Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship, p. 29. Back

[86] As an example see Ernesto Galli della Loggia, La morte della patria: la crisi dell’idea della nazione tra resistenza, antifascismo e repubblica, Laterza, Bari, 1996, pp. 125-61.Back

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