Sunday, August 18, 2019

Ur-Fascism in its Depths: Fiume as a Seedbed of Fascism

"Am I not the precursor of all that is good about Fascism?" 
- D'Annunzio to Mussolini, in 1932
The city of Fiume under Gabriele D'Annunzio embodied Eco's concept of ur-fascism. Born in its own womb, it died in labor emptying out its political afterbirth.

On 12 September 1919, D'Annunzio led thousands of Italian soldiers and nationalists into an irredentist seizure of the city of Fiume (modern day Rijeka, Croatia). D'Annunzio's aim was to reunite Fiume with Italy. Italy did not acknowledge the takeover, however, and for over a year, D'Annunzio ruled the city in defiance of the Allied nations. Enacting a Caesarist overthrow of its democratic scaffolding, the result was a protracted fascistic embryogenesis that never attained full political maturity and that stirred within the womb of its own birth.

Umberto Eco calls this embryonic stage "ur-fascism": He describes fourteen elements that, alone or in combination with two or more other elements, may form a germ seed of fascism: "It is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it." Most of these fourteen elements formed the nucleus of D'Annunzio's Fiume endeavor.

It was this political infancy, and its promotion of the model it represented in its own country and in other countries, that distinguishes D'Annunzio's Fiume as an ur-fascist regime. In its lifespan of little more than a year, it formed a seedbed that experimented with elemental and basic fascist concepts and encouraged the diffusion of its model to the world: Policies or ideas that would be embraced by Mussolini, Hitler, Codreanu, Mosley, Franco, Salazar, as well as postwar figures like Perón and Saddam Hussein, resonating in other movements.

D'Annunzio's Fiume embodied Eco's concept of ur-fascism in two ways:

1. D'Annunzio's Fiume remained at the political level of embryonic fascism.

2. D'Annunzio's Fiume promoted the birth of embryonic fascism elsewhere.

The constitution of D'Annunzio's Fiume, the Charter of Carnaro, coauthored by D'Annunzio and Alceste de Ambris, underlies both aspects of the regime. In particular, there are two key institutions it enshrines that echo this embryonic fascism over all else.

The first is the concept of the Corporation. As the Charter states, a Corporation is a "legal entity... recognized by the State." It establishes its own policies and rules, elects its leaders, and manages itself. Essentially, a Corporation ensures a vital societal interest:
18. The State represents the aspiration and effort of the people, as a community, towards material and spiritual advancement. Those only are full citizens who give their best endeavour to add to the wealth and strength of the State; these truly are one with her in her growth and development. Whatever be the kind of work a man does, whether of hand or brain, art or industry, design or execution, he must be a member of one of the ten Corporations who receive from the commune a general direction as to the scope of their activities, but are free to develop them in their own way and to decide among themselves as to their mutual duties and responsibilities.
These Corporations are listed in it: Industrial and agricultural workers, seafarers, employers, industrial and agricultural technicians, private bureaucrats and administrators, teachers and students, lawyers and doctors, civil servants, and co-operative workers.

The organicism underlying the corporatism of D'Annunzio's Fiume is central to fascist views of society. This is not the contemporary US leftist view of "corporate fascism." Instead, it is a view of society as an organic whole, structured to nourish its vital interests.

In "The Doctrine of Fascism," Giovanni Gentile remarks that:
But within the orbit of the State with ordinative functions, the real needs, which give rise to the Socialist movement and to the forming of labor unions, are emphatically recognized by Fascism and are given their full expression in the Corporative System, which conciliates every interest in the unity of the State.
Mussolini, who wrote the second part, writes that the Corporation and the interests that it is intended to embody, gets to "the very foundations of the regime." In Mein Kampf, Hitler writes that the aim of his movement is to reconstitute the nation as an organic whole. This is expressed in later speeches, as well. In a 1934 speech, he stated that he viewed society as "a corporate body... a single organism." The word, 'corporate,' comes from the Latin word, 'corpus': a body. In "The Corporate State," Sir Mosley writes:
It envisages, as its name implies, a nation organised as the human body. Every part fulfils its function as a member of the whole, performing its separate task, and yet, by performing it, contributing to the welfare of the whole.
The second institution enshrined in the Charter of Carnaro that is also especially noteworthy is the office of the Commandant. This institution, in effect, resurrected the Roman office of dictator, and preceded and anticipated the roles of Duce in Italy and Fuehrer in Germany. D'Annunzio occupied this office, and remained until the Italian government forcibly removed him from power in Fiume. The Commandant is imbued with all "political, military, legislative and executive" power. Its aim is to oppose or overcome societal decline:
43. When the province is in extreme peril and sees that her safety depends on the will and devotion of one man who is capable of rousing and of leading all the forces of the people in a united and victorious effort, the National Council in solemn conclave in the Arengo may, voting by word of mouth, nominate a Commandant and transmit to him supreme authority without appeal. The Council decides the period, long or short, during which he is to rule, not forgetting that in the Roman Republic the dictatorship lasted six months.
The office of the Commandant, Jonathan Bowden has argued, was the key institution within the Regency of Carnaro that signified the primeval fascist character of D'Annunzio's Fiume. As its key institution, it grounded the social rituals that grew up around it:
The idea of the man alone set above the people who is yet one of them. The idea of a squad of people who are passionate, and fanatical, and frenzied, with a stiff arm Roman salute, dressed in black, who are an audience for the leader, as well as security for the leader, as well as a sort of prop who make sure that the masses go along with what the leader is saying. The idea of a nationalist chorus. All of these ideas come from D'Annunzio and his forced occupation of the port city of Fiume.
The introduction of aesthetics into politics and government by spectacle was an innovation of D'Annunzio's Fiume. The societal pageantry it fomented was inherited by Mussolini's Italy and various fascist regimes and movements that followed. However, these are surface level symptoms of fascism, outgrowths of its elemental impulses: The abandoning of democratic pretense, the corporatist restructuring of existing structures of inequality and hierarchy, and the authoritarian redemption of a community from conditions of decline.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Tremors of Fiume and the Shadow of D'Annunzio

"Perhaps the most eloquent tribute that could be paid him was the great respect and fear demonstrated by Mussolini in the years following the Fiume adventure... Everyone from Mussolini to Premier Franceso Saverio Nitti realized that D'Annunzio could have led a successful march on Rome during his reign at Fiume..."
- Michael A. Ledeen, 'The First Duce'

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Roses May Bloom from the Blood

"I drink to the roses which will flower from the blood." 
- Gabriele D'Annunzio, at a Venetian party in 1895 
Gabriele D'Annunzio in a speech to soldiers in 1915

Saturday, August 10, 2019

A Quote from D'Anunnzio in 'The Triumph of Death'

"He did not aspire except to be, himself, the eternal pleasure of becoming."
- Gabriele D'Annunzio, 'The Triumph of Death' 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Long Live Fiume!," by Benito Mussolini

Mussolini supports Fiume. Reposted from Biblioteca Fascista.

Benito Mussolini addressing a crowd in 1920.

"Long Live Fiume!"
Il Popolo d'Italia, 13 September 1919
By Benito Mussolini

The enterprise undertaken by Gabriele d'Annunzio in order to restore Fiume to Italy is destined to arouse the greatest thrill around the world. In the last ten months of waiting and frustration, universal attention was placed on this city of the Quarnaro. D'Annunzio entered the city yesterday to dissolve this Gordian knot of western plutocrats...

After ten months, having already signed the peace with Austria, it was necessary to also give peace to Italy in the Adriatic. And since the Western merchants decided not to conclude this peace and continued to drag it out for eternity, an act of force was necessary.

We don't know what Nitti's government is thinking. All we can say is that, if necessary, thousands of volunteers - the best of Italy's youth - will be with D'Annunzio.

We understand the concerns of Roman political circles, especially the parliamentarians. However, while recognizing that the general political situation is delicate, we do not share those excessive worries of the typical couch potatoes. In order to thwart the inevitable socialist speculation, we must say immediately that D'Annunzio's gesture is not the prelude to another war for the Italian people. The occupation and defense of Fiume will not lead to another war simply because there are no enemies. If Croatia does not declare war on us, do you really think England and France would resort to violence? Such a hypothesis is absurd.

Not so absurd, however, is the assumption of possible economic reprisals by Anglo-American plutocracy. But we're at a point now where blackmail no longer frightens us. Take note of what we're saying in this moment: rather than be strangled by the odious capitalism of the Anglo-Saxons, the Italians can adopt a policy not quite different from their own current foreign policy: an "Eastern policy", which opens us up to a world of inexhaustible resources. We will closely follow the new, dramatic and exceptionally interesting situation caused by the action of Gabriele d'Annunzio. In the meantime, we cry out with all our soul: "Long live Italian Fiume!"

Friday, August 2, 2019

"Fiume Under D'Annunzio": Article in MacLean's Magazine

Taken from the 1 Dec. 1920 issue of MacLean's Magazine. Click here (and then click again to improve the size) to view a scan of the original magazine article.

Fiume Under D’Annunzio

An Extraordinary Account of the Situation With the Poet Airman as Dictator


A SPECIAL correspondent of the London Times lately visited Fiume in order to obtain a first-hand account of the situation in that region. His description published in a recent issue is full of interest and novelty. He says in part:

On approaching the "holocaust city" - so D’Annunzio calls it - from the sea, there is nothing to inspire enthusiasm or to justify pride. The little steamer from Abbazia clings close to the shore and runs slowly along the wharves, which extend for more than a mile from the inner harbor. Not a movement can be seen as empty warehouse after empty warehouse is passed, with long rows of splendid cranes running out upon their overhead trollies and stretching useless arms above the vacant quays. The first impression is that the city is dead, that, stricken by some sudden disaster, it lies shrouded in rust. The brownish red pall overlying the grey paint contrasts with patches of green weeds that have sprung up between the flagstones. Grass, too, is growing in the gutters and on the roofs of buildings which were once the scene of bustling activity. Can this be Fiume, "the City of Life?"

But the scene changes. The inner harbor is reached and there the Dante Alighieri, a modern battleship, lies with steam up and her big guns trained landwards on the roads leading to the town. Close by are a couple of cruisers, four or five destroyers, and a flotilla of smaller craft, about 16 in all. So D’Annunzio has quite a fleet. The ships have not lost the Navy look. They are spick and span, and as we pass one of the destroyers the Captain is being piped overside in true navy fashion. Our tiny craft berths at a mole which abuts on a wide open space leading to the centre of the town. I step off and an official demands my passport, which he calmly confiscates, saying that it will be given back to me at the Questura, pin tarde. Protest is unavailing, and I find myself in Fiume without identification papers of any kind.

It would be easy, very easy, to write of Fiume in Gilbert and Sullivan strain. Here is the Paradise of Youth, the wildest dreams of boyhood adventure come true. Everybody seems to be about 20. Some of the more staid men may be 25 and from time to time an elderly person serves to emphasize the immaturity of the overwhelming majority. In strong contrast with the background of listless apathy furnished by the townspeople, whose children have been shipped away, there is among the "Conquistadores" an atmosphere of enthusiasm, of hero-worship, of self-confidence, of joy of life, altogether extraordinary when one stops to think that for more than a year now triumphant youth, bubbling over with vitality, has been cooped up in this narrow space, without work to do or battles to fight, without knowing how its grand adventure will end.

The picturesqueness of the seen makes one blush for the lack of imagination which stage directors show when attempting to present a pirate play.

But it is not the comic opera setting that counts. It is not the weird costumes which youthful fancy has devised for its own self-glorification, nor the medals and stars that D’Annunzio has plastered all over his legionaries, and which they value above any decoration won in war. The thing that counts is the force that gives cohesion to all this turbulent quicksilver.

It is a great mistake to underrate D’Annunzio. This mari is a real force, not only by what he has been in the past, but by what he is, and stands for, to-day. No one did more to bring Italy into the war, and some of his speeches then, like his Fiume orations now, will endure as long as the Italian language. He fought on land, at sea, and in the air. He was severely wounded, and even after the loss of his right eye he remained in the fight. He has always dreamed of a greater Italy, supreme in the Adriatic and extending its influence over the Balkans. He is quite sure that Italy has been robbed of the spoils of victory by the “ingratitude and egotism” of the Allies, and he is just as ready to give his life now for what he .believes to be his country’s due as he was to die for her in battle. D’Annunzio possesses both constructive imagination and executive ability. He is an untiring worker, and has that divine gift of personal magnetism which attracts the loyalty and devotion of other men. There can be no question of his power to sway the masses. The almost religious admiration in which he is held by the regular Italian forces - officers and men of the Army and Navy alike - is surpassed only by the fanatical fervour of his own followers.

And well may they look upon him as super-human and have faith in his lucky star. Has he not appeared successfully to defy not only the Government of his own country, but the Allied and Associated Powers to boot? Have they not left him for more than a year in undisturbed possession of the city he seized? Has he not by acting while others talked - set the whole Peace Conference at nought? But his Ardili have other and more immediate proofs of his power to perform miracles for them! For 13 months Fiume has lived without working. The wharves are deserted, the railway is over-grown with weeds, the factories are mostly shut - the great Whitehead torpedo shop, which in 1913 employed 1,800 men, now has only some 350 workers. Business in the town is limited to supplying its needs and is doing a little trade with Trieste, Venice and parts of Dalmatia. And yet in some totally unexplained fashion the soldiers are paid, the unemployed are given bounties, food is plentiful and, compared with other Italian cities, living is cheap.

The soldiers and sailors get regular Italian army rations, with something added, and extra allowances of wine. Of everything there is an abundance, not excepting money. Fiume is the only city to-day where one gets real pure wheat bread made from the finest white flour. It tastes like cake. Indeed, the other day, D’Annunzio was able to sell 2,000 tons of white flour to the Austrians.

During the early days of his occupation of Fiume, D’Annunzio’s whole program was summed up in the words Italia, o Morte! and every preparation was made for the defenders to sell their lives as dearly as possible and destroy the town rather than surrender it. Fiume was thoroughly mined and everything made ready to blow up public buildings, highways, water mains, wharves, piers, warehouses, etc., if need should arise. The town is still mined, but D’Annunzio knows now that he will never be called upon to defend it against Italian troops. Indeed, he is entirely surrounded and protected by the Italian Army of Occupation, which has been thrown forward, beyond the Treaty of London line, and now occupies the heights above Buccari, where a small force of Yugo-Slavs is stationed.

No Italian soldier will raise a hand against him, for does he not wear the medal of the mutilated and the Gold Award of Valor - the equivalent of the Victoria Cross? Much of the immediate future of Italy may be bound up in the three words D’Annunzio has inscribed upon his banner: Quis Contra Nos.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mention of D'Annunzio in Bordiga's 1922 "Report on Fascism" to the Fourth Congress of the Comintern

In this 1922 "Report on Fascism" to the Communist International, Amadeo Bordiga claims that D'Annunzio's seizure of Fiume was vital to empowering fascism:
At the most critical moment, the fascist movement gained strength from D'Annunzio’s expedition to Fiume, which endowed it with a certain moral authority. Although D'Annunzio’s movement was distinct from fascism, that event led to the rise of its organisation and armed strength.
Later in the article, Bordiga also makes this reference:
Consider for example the D'Annunzio movement, which was linked to fascism, and nonetheless made the attempt to win the support of proletarian organisations on the basis of a programme derived from the Fiume constitution that was supposedly based on proletarian or even socialist principles.
The following is Bordiga's footnote to the first reference:
Possession of the city of Fiume, on the northern Adriatic, had been disputed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference by Italy and newly constituted Yugoslavia. While negotiations continued, in September 1919, an Italian nationalist militia detachment led by D'Annunzio seized the city. Fiume retained de facto independence until 1924, when the territory was divided between Italy and Yugoslavia.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mussolini on the Question of Fiume

"The speech of the crown did not take a clear position against the subversive forces which were menacing nothing less than our whole national unity. It forgot the question of Fiume - a torch which held out a flame for our national spirit."

- Mussolini, 'My Autobiography'

Image: Mussolini visiting D'Annunzio in 1925

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Last Lines of the Codex Fori Mussolini

"It stands at the very entrance of the Foro Mussolini and it will immortalize for eternity the fortunes of the fatherland, restored by the Leader, the excellent and unconquered spirit of the Leader regarding the fatherland, the immovable loyalty of the citizens to the Leader, and the outstanding achievements of Fascism." 
- Codex Fori Mussolini, last lines, 27 Oct. 1932, inscribed in Latin by Aurelio Giuseppe Amatucci 
Image: Monolithic obelisk at the Foro Mussolini. The Codex Fori Mussolini was hidden at its base, and only recently recovered.

Monday, April 8, 2019

"Past and Future," by Benito Mussolini

Mussolini looks at Italy's past and future. Reposted from Biblioteca Fascista.

The remnants of the ancient Roman Colosseum...

"Past and Future"
Il Popolo d'Italia, April 21, 1922
By Benito Mussolini

Italian Fascism is gathered today, surrounded by thousands upon thousands of pennants, to celebrate its own feast as well as that of the Anniversary of the Foundation of Rome. This severe and imposing demonstration will succeed, even in centres where it has been prohibited by the police at the behest of a government which does not know and does not want to choose between national forces and anti-national forces and which will eventually die from its lamentable ambiguity.

The proposal to choose April 21 as the day of Fascism was welcomed everywhere with enthusiasm. Fascists sensed the profound meaning of this date.

To celebrate the Birth of Rome means to celebrate our kind of civilization, it means to exalt our history and our race, it means to lean firmly on the past in order to project better onto the future. In fact, Rome and Italy are two inseparable terms. During the gray or sad epochs of our history, Rome was the lighthouse of navigators and the expectant. Beginning in 1821, the year in which national consciousness awoke from Nola to Turin, the thrill of unified insurrection erupted, Rome appeared as the supreme goal. The mazzinian and garibaldian cry of "Rome or death!" was not only a battle cry, but solemn testimony that without Rome as the capital there would be no Italian unity, since only Rome, and the charm of its geographical position, could carry out the delicate task and necessity of gradually fusing the various regions of the Nation.

Of course, the Rome that we honour is not just the monuments and the ruins, the Rome of the glorious ruins, among which no civilized man can wander without feeling a thrill of ardent veneration. Certainly the Rome that we honour has nothing to do with that triumphalist, modernistic mediocrity and the barracks out of which swarm the massive army of ministerial functionaries. We consider all that to be like those fungi that grow at the foot of giant oaks.

The Rome that we honour, and above all the Rome that we dream of and prepare, is something else: not of distinguished stones, but of living souls: not nostalgic contemplation of the past, but tough preparation for the future.

Rome is our starting point and reference; it is our symbol, or if you will, our Myth. We dream of a Roman Italy—that is, an Italy wise, strong, disciplined, and imperial. Much of that immortal spirit of Rome is raised anew in Fascism: Roman is our Littorio, Roman is our organization of combat, Roman is our pride and our courage: "Civis romanus sum". And now it is necessary that the history of tomorrow, which we wish assiduously to create, shall not be the contrast to, or the parody of, yesterday. The Romans were not only warriors but also formidable constructors who could defy—and did defy—time.

In the war and in victory Italy was Roman for the first time in fifteen centuries, and now must be Roman in peace; and this Romanità must be renovated and renew itself in these names: discipline and labour. With these thoughts, Italian Fascists today remember the day when 2,757 years ago—according to legend—was traced the first furrow of the city square, destined a few centuries later to dominate the world.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

"Response to the Zionists," by Benito Mussolini

Mussolini published this article in response to Zionists, in the midst of debate generated by an earlier article written by Mussolini. Reposted from Biblioteca Fascista.

Benito Mussolini addressing a crowd in Rome in 1928.

"Response to the Zionists"
Il Popolo di Roma, 16 December, 1928
By Benito Mussolini

Dear Editor,

The discussion I provoked with my article "Religion or Nation?" has garnered significant attention both inside and outside of Italy. I feel that I have a right to reply, and this is a right which I intend to make discrete use of. The letters published by your newspaper have been signed by many prominent men who can be grouped into three distinct categories:

First, the honest and sincere group, namely those Italian Jews who say that they identify as Italians, but happen to be of Jewish ancestry or religion (a similar group exists in Germany, created by Neumann), and if they had to choose between Italy or Jewry, they would choose Italy.

The second group is much less sincere: they are men who would choose Italy, but not out of any conviction or love for the Fatherland, but merely for opportunistic reasons, because they do not want to lose the high positions they occupy in the Italian world.

Finally, the last group of signatories who sent letters to your journal: this group oscillates between Nation and Religion, with a greater inclination towards Nation, i.e. the Jewish Nation. That said, we must now admit that the amount of people who have spoken up are very few in number. How many Jews are there living in Italy?

According to pre-war statistics their number was set at approximately 50,000. But these numbers are no longer accurate. After the conquest of the redeemed lands (Merano, Trieste, Gorizia and Fiume all have strong Jewish communities), in addition to the colony of Libya which has a large number of Jews, we must estimate the number of Jews to be at least 80,000 (out of a total of 42 million inhabitants). Rome alone—home to the oldest Jewish community in Europe—counts some 18 to 20 thousand Jews. Hopefully in the next census, which will be conducted in such a way as to not allow any sneaky loopholes, the true number of Jews will come to light.

Now, please read this carefully. Jewish publications boldly state that Zionism in Italy has a large following among the masses of Italian Jews. Meanwhile, it is curious to note the surprise of some Jews who pretend to have never heard of Zionism and proclaim themselves scandalized at the mere mention of the word 'Zionist'. Now, universal Zionism was born in 1897 and spread to Italy shortly after. The recent Congress of Zionists living in Italy coincided with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Milanese Zionist Circle, chaired by the playwright Sabatino Lopez. Twenty-five local groups were represented at the Congress. The tone of their speeches is well known. Likewise the content of the posters advertised to Italian Jews. Neither of which would have moved without the intervention of this newspaper. But instead, they all would have continued to feed the movement through subscriptions, adhesions or something else. Some authors of the letters you published speak of religious fanaticism and of literature.

By no means. Italian Zionism is a vast and practical movement that has this as its supreme goal: money and the creation of a Jewish National State in Palestine through the use of intense propaganda. Just so there is no misunderstanding, they want the Palestinian State to be Jewish, just as England is English and so on. Italian Zionism is part of universal Zionism: the Italian Zionists never fail at the International Zionist Congress; and the Zionist leaders - Weissman, Sokoloff and other minor characters - do not neglect Italian Zionism in their messages and visits.

Now, from the Italian point of view, can one consider the statement by Mr. Dante Lattes, President of the Italian Zionist Federation, published in the December 6 edition of this newspaper, as satisfactory? No. We are told of the goals of the Zionists' action in unequivocal terms that do not allow for any doubt: the goal is the establishment of a "Jewish national home in Palestine". Now a nation that is fixed in a determined territory inevitably becomes a State. And this is what the Zionists want. The British Mandate of Palestine is a covert means to this end; a Jewish State is the real goal. The preparations are obvious: from the money to the flag; from the revived Hebrew language to the cities reserved exclusively for Jews, sheltered therefore from the boogeyman of Western assimilation.

As long as Palestinian Zionism is in that phase which I will call "national preparedness", one can fairly admit that this does not necessarily disturb the legal and sentimental relations between the Jews and their fellow citizens of other countries. However, the day when Zionism enters the phase of establishing a National State, then such relationships will have to be radically revised by the governments, since one can not simultaneously belong to two Fatherlands; one can not simultaneously be a citizen of two States. As to the merits claimed by Mr. Lattes and for him by the Italian Zionists regarding the cultural and economic expansion of Italy into Palestine and in the Mediterranean, we would like to see some evidence of this (which has yet to be provided) before addressing it.

To complete this picture, let's take a look at the last issue of the newspaper of the Italian Zionists. We find on the front page in huge letters an announcement that the Haifa Bay has become the inalienable property of the "Jewish people": but the fourth page is even more interesting to read because of the controversy that arose between Passigli, Vice-President of the Jewish the University in Florence, and the director of the newspaper, concerning the two epigraphs dedicated to the Florentine Jews who died in the last war.

The one made in 1920 says that the Florentine Jews shed their blood for "the advent of a greater Italy, and the resurgence of a free and united Israel". As you can see, it speaks of Italy, but never mentions the Fatherland. Now in 1928 the Florentine Jews wanted to clarify this and created a new plaque which no longer speaks vaguely of Italy, but explicitly speaks of the Fatherland. They changed the words to this: "The Florentine Jews died for the greatness of the Fatherland, which for us is Italy".

Analyzing the two versions, it is evident that the one made in 1928 does not lend itself to misunderstandings. So the question is, why was there so much furious anger coming from the newspaper of the Italian Zionists? Is Italy the Fatherland of the Italian Jews, or not? And if it is, then why do they get so irritated if this is engraved on a plaque dedicated to the Fallen?

Mr. Editor, by commenting on the Congress of Italian Zionists, my intention was to provoke a clarification among Italian Jews and to open the eyes of Italian Christians. The Jewish letters that you published led to a backlash in Italian newspapers. My goal has been achieved. A Jewish problem exists, and it is no longer confined to that "shadowy sphere" where it had been cleverly confined by the former, and ingenuously ignored by the latter.