October 10, 2012
Honoring of Italian fascist angers local Jewish group
A new Italian women’s group has added its voice to protests over a publicly funded monument honoring the World War II-era fascist leader Rodolfo Graziani.
The leadership of Binah, an all-women Jewish party represented on the board of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, recently urged Italian Jewish leaders to take urgent measures against what it called a “shame on Italian soil” and also take a firm stance against other perceived episodes of anti-Semitism in Italy.
The monument, a mausoleum and park dedicated to Graziani, a former defense minister in the fascist Italian Social Republic of Salo, was inaugurated in August in the town of Affile, near Rome. According to news reports it was financed by about $150,000 of regional and local public funding.
The monument triggered widespread controversy and sparked protests, including a demonstration two weeks ago that drew hundreds of protesters.
The National Partisans Association announced last week that it would sue the Affile mayor for an “apology for fascism” and related crimes.
Graziani signed the 1938 fascist racial laws against Jews. He also took part in massacres of anti-fascist partisans and was responsible for the brutal executions and killings of thousands in Africa.