Mussolini’s Concentration Camps for Civilians: An insight into the nature of Fascist Racism.
This book has reconstructed how and why the complex system of concentration camps for civilian internees, was established in Fascist Italy: this exercise gave a unique insight and showed that Mussolini and Hitler adopted the idea of establishing concentration camps not because one wanted to copy the other, but because they wanted the camps for different purposes.
The reconstruction of the Camps – where they were, why they were there, what they looked like, who was sent there and how the internees lived or died – provided an unique insight into Fascist Racism and how Italy, at the time, chose to deal with people who were neither Christian nor Italian.
The uniqueness of this book is not only the way it uses the establishment of the concentration camps as an insight into how the Fascist race laws were implemented, but also in the fact that it has produced, for the first time, a comprehensive documentation of all these camps and realities with as much information, as was available, about the dates of operation of these camps and the potential number of internees they could have held.
This documentation was constructed from material found in many original documents in the local archives of the smaller towns and villages of the places where the camps had once been.
As far as the camps for civilian internees run by the civil authorities were concerned, the reality of all these camps was pieced together by examining the rules and regulations as well as the Special Register of tenders for barracks, supplies and services.
In addition to putting forward a contrasting view that Fascist racism and Nazi racism evolved for different reasons with different outcomes, this book has clearly shown that Fascist racism did not remain merely a theoretical phenomenon.
Not only was Fascist racism and its racist laws used to discriminate against minorities (and those perceived as enemies of the state), affecting their way of life, status and freedom, but the establishment of the concentration camps and the internment of oppressed (mostly innocent) people, before 1943, is testimony to the fact that the laws found a concrete and destructive practical application with goals that were original in nature.