100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

November 29, 1985 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

42

Friday, November 29, 1985 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LOOKING BACK

Mussolini On Jews:
Vascillating Attitude

PHOTOGRAPHY

Through December '85

Give a year long
Chanukah gift —

A JCC Youth
Memberships now
only $75.00

(half off regular price of $150.00)
Grades 6 thru 12
Applicable to New Members Only
Maple/Drake Branch 6600 West Maple Road
West Bloomfield
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 661-1000, x 166.

WE'RE
CELEBRATING!

OUR GRAND OPENING

ONE DAY ONLY

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1ST
from 1pm to 4 pm

FROM OUR SUPER SELECTION
OF HANDBAGS & ACCESSORIES,
ITEMS ALREADY DISCOUNTED

10%

OFF

WITH A PURCHASE OF 20.00
OR MORE, RECEIVE A
LOTS OF IN-STORE SPECIALS, INCLUDING NEW SHIP-
MENTS ARRIVING DAILY FROM NEW YORK.
REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED.

BY RABBI BERNARD S. RASKAS
Special to The Jewish News

Mussolini was vain, deceitful
and opportunistic. His relation-
ships with the Jews might very
well be characterized in these
terms. His Jewish views and
policies depended on the shifting
political winds and his personal
mood.
In 1919, Mussolini attacked
world Jewry in his newspaper
Popolo diltalia, defining it as
"the accomplices, the soul of
both Bolshevism and of
capitalism." How a group can
both be Bolshevist and capitalist
at the same time defies all logic.
In October 1924, he reversed
his stand saying, "Bolshevism is
not, as is believed, a Jewish
phenomenon," and further
claimed that "Italy does not
know anti-Semitism and we be-
lieve that it will never know it."
In point of fact, there were very
few Italian Jews in the Fascist
system. Mussolini sought out a
Jew to head his Ministry of Fi-
nance and in 1932 he appointed
Guido Jung. Six years later
when Mussolini promulgated his
racial laws, Guido Jung signed a
statement to the effect that his
mother had had an extra-
marital relationship with a
Catholic and that he was the il-
legitimate offspring of that
union and proclaimed himself a
bastard.
Another curious episode in the
life of Mussolini is the fact that
he had a Jewish mistress by the
name of Madam Sarfatti who
wrote an idealized biography of
him. When Mussolini tired of
her, he turned her out penniless
and her life was in mortal
danger. The United States came
to her rescue by giving her an
emergency visa.
Mussolini's
attitude
to
Zionism was similarly ambiva-
lent. To Chaim Weizmann he
said, shortly after his accession
to power, "You know, we could
build your state easily." In Feb-
ruary 1928, he personally ap-
proved and encouraged the crea-
tion of the Italy-Palestine Corn-
mittee but rebuked Italian
Zionists in November of the
same year (probably in defer-
ence to the Vatican with whom
he was about to sign the concor-
dat), charging them with disloy-

Benito Mussolini

alty to Italy. He said, "We
therefore ask the Italian Jews:
Are you a religion or a nation?"
Subsequently he resumed his
pro-Zionist policy, purely from
expansionist motives, and main-
tained it until after the conquest
of Ethiopia.
Mussolini had a strange rela-
tionship with Vladimir
Jabotinsky, the Russian born
Zionist leader who had Fascist
leanings. As a result of their
conversations Mussolini con-
sented to start a naval school for
Jews at Civitavecchia. The
Jewish Naval School trained a
conglomerate crew of Romanian,
Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Ger-
man and Lithuanian Jewish
sailors. Interestingly enough,
they became the nucleus that
founded the Israeli navy.
In November 1923, Mussolini
declared to Angelo Sacerdoti,
chief rabbi of Rome, that "the
Italian government and Italian
Fascism have never intended to
follow nor are following an
anti-Semitic policy."
Mussolini soon reversed his
position. From 1936 to all in-
tents and purposes he dis-
sociated himself from the West-
ern world and drew near to his
derided disciple and future mas-
ter, Hitler. He blamed "interna-
tional Jewry" for the sanctions
which castigated Italy for its
Ethiopian adventure and
marked the end of his reap-
proachement with the Western
democracies. As a result, the
Italian Jews had become ex-

FREE GIFT

looking for a store with panache and pizzazz?
The unusual accessories that no one else has?
If your searching for a unique boutique
come visit us at

SILVER
STREAK

Holiday Hours:
Monday-Saturday 10-6
Thursday & Friday 'til 9
Sunday 12-4

851-3333
Orchard Mall

Orchard Mall N. of Maple

Say "I LOVE YOU" With

MYLAR BALLOONS

for
ANY SPECIAL OCCASION



(313) 661-9331

ograrrigtons

We're the finest
.. ASK ANYONE!!

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan