Hundreds of anti-fascists march in Mussolini’s birthplace

Oct 27, 2022, 10:40 PM | Updated: Oct 28, 2022, 11:13 am
Demonstrators by the Italian Partisans association form a human chain to protect shops selling memo...

Demonstrators by the Italian Partisans association form a human chain to protect shops selling memorabilia of Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, during a march organized in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

              People queue to visit the tomb of Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome, in Predappio, Italy, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A bust of Benito Mussolini is displayed during an exhibit titled "100 years of history between revolutions and counter revolutions" inaugurated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by the Fascist, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A marble skull with a knife is displayed during an exhibit titled "100 years of history between revolutions and counter revolutions" inaugurated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A woman looks at a poster displayed during an exhibit titled "100 years of history between revolutions and counter revolutions" inaugurated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A man poses for a picture holding a bottle with a label reading, Amaro (Liquor) of the Duce, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A man flashes the roman salute in front of a car adorned with stickers reading, Amaro (Liquor) of the Duce, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People hold a banner reading, Predappio Free, during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People gather during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People man takes pictures of Benito Mussolini bust during the inauguration of an exhibit titled "100 years of history between revolutions and counter revolutions" inaugurated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People hold a banner reading, against every fascism, during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People gather during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              Italian writer Adelmo Cervi delivers his speech during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              Demonstrators by the Italian Partisans association form a human chain to protect shops selling memorabilia of Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, during a march organized in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              Orsola Mussolini, great granddaughter, of Benito Mussolini attends the inauguration of an exhibit titled "100 years of history between revolutions and counter revolutions" inaugurated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A woman sits near a building during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People gather during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People gather during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              A statuette flashing the Fascist salute is displayed during an exhibit titled "100 years of history between revolutions and counter revolutions" inaugurated on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome by Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, in Predappio, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              People gather during a march organized by the Italian Partisans association in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              Demonstrators by the Italian Partisans association form a human chain to protect shops selling memorabilia of Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, during a march organized in Mussolini's birthplace Predappio Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, to mark the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the town from the nazi-fascist occupation by Italian Partisans and Polish allied troops, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the march on Rome. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

PREDAPPIO, Italy (AP) — About 1,000 anti-fascists celebrated the anniversary of the 1944 liberation of Benito Mussolini’s birthplace Friday, as scattered fascist nostalgics quietly marked the 100th anniversary of the March on Rome that brought the Italian dictator to power in a bloodless coup.

An organization representing partisans who fought to free Italy from fascism and Nazi occupiers during World War II organized the march down the main street in Predappio, where Mussolini was born and buried. They were joined by trade unionists and left-wing politicians.

“I owe this to my parents and to all those people who gave us freedom, and I mean the partisans,” Daniela Vicchi, the daughter of a partisan, said during the march.

Italy’s uneasy reckoning with its fascist past was under extra scrutiny as the dual anniversaries coincided this year with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni’s first week as head of the first postwar government led by a party with neo-fascist roots.

Meloni has sought to distance her Brothers of Italy party from its more radical, nostalgic wing. At the same time, neo-fascist parties have been part of the Italian political landscape throughout the postwar period despite Mussolini’s disastrous colonial adventure in Africa and racial laws that persecuted Jews and sent thousands to their deaths in the Holocaust.

In a sign of that uneasy coexistence, organizers of the anti-fascist march placed security outside souvenir shops that sell Mussolini memorabilia in his Emilia Romagna birth and burial place, which has become a place of pilgrimage for far-right adherents who see the dictator executed in 1945 as a modernizing force in 20th century Italy.

The National Association of Partisans annual event marking Predappio’s World War II liberation conveniently prevents fascist nostalgics from commemorating the March on Rome in the town that day. Their event is scheduled for Sunday, when thousands are expected to march from the center of town to Mussolini’s crypt.

But that didn’t stop Mussolini admirers from visiting Predappio on Friday, about 50 of whom waited in line to pay their respects in front of the defunct dictator’s grave.

“Without the vote of fascists, Meloni would not be at the government. I can say this loud and clear,” said Ferdinando Polegatto, who drove all the way from Sequals to bring flowers to the tomb of Mussolini.

Mussolini’s great-granddaughters, Orsola and Vittoria Mussolini, also were on hand Friday to open an exhibit titled “100 Years of History between Revolution and Counter-Revolution.” Promotional material says the exhibit aims to tell the story of the Mussolini family “and above all the man who indelibly marked Italian history.” Both women declined to comment.

A traditionalist Catholic priest, the Rev. Giulio Tam, celebrated a Mass in Mussolini’s crypt, and later lamented the liberal changes in Italian society that some citizens fear Meloni might undermine as premier.

“The main thing we must consider 100 years after the March on Rome is what Benito Mussolini did and what happened after 1945.” Tam said. “What was the progress that was brought? If we look at the laws that were approved after 1945, we see laity, secularism, atheism, divorce, abortion, now they are talking about giving equal value” to same-marriage marriages.

____

Colleen Barry contributed from Milan.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

arrest...
Associated Press

Police: Washington officer shot, wounded while making arrest

Pasco Police in southeast Washington state said one of their officers was shot and wounded Thursday afternoon while making an arrest.
14 hours ago
State hospital...
Associated Press

7 die from flu in Washington state, activity ‘very high’

Flu activity in the state is now considered very high, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
14 hours ago
FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sho...
Associated Press

US plans end to mpox public health emergency in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government plans to end in January the public health emergency it declared earlier this year after an outbreak of mpox infected more than 29,000 people across the U.S. Mpox cases have plummeted in recent weeks, with just a handful of new infections being reported every week in the month of […]
2 days ago
FILE - A Dixie Valley toad is seen around the hot spring-fed wetland in the Dixie Valley in Fallon,...
Associated Press

Endangered listing for Nevada toad in geothermal power fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A tiny Nevada toad at the center of a legal battle over a geothermal power project has officially been declared an endangered species after U.S. wildlife officials temporarily listed it on a rarely-used emergency basis last spring. “This ruling makes final the listing of the Dixie Valley toad,” the U.S. Fish […]
2 days ago
FILE - Tennessee Valley Authority President Jeff Lyash speaks with the Chattanooga Times Free Press...
Associated Press

Utility recommends natural gas plant despite objections

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s largest public utility on Friday recommended replacing an aging coal burning power plant with natural gas, ignoring calls for the Tennessee Valley Authority to speed its transition to renewable energy. TVA announced the completion of its environmental impact statement for replacing the Cumberland Fossil Plant near Cumberland City, Tennessee. […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Friday 12/2/2022

Worries about inflation weighed on Wall Street, leaving major indexes mixed after another bumpy day of trading. A government report showing that wage growth accelerated last month spooked investors since it could mean the Federal Reserve will be less able to ease up on its fight against inflation. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Hundreds of anti-fascists march in Mussolini’s birthplace