KULTURALIA: 75 years ago: Italy declares war against Nazi Germany

By the editors of wsws.org


King Victor Emmanuel (left) and Marshal Badoglio

On October 13, 1943, the Italian government, led by King Victor Emmanuel and Premier Pietro Badoglio, declared war against its former ally, Nazi Germany, just three months after the fall of Mussolini and Italy’s surrender to the Allies. The United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union promptly recognized Italy as a co-belligerent state.

From the military point of view, Italy’s entry into the war against Germany was of little importance to the Allies. The main aim of Churchill and Roosevelt was to use the state of war as an excuse for cracking down on the revolutionary movement of the Italian workers and maintaining Italian capitalism.

Badoglio, himself a marshal under fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, admitted as much in an interview: “After every war there is the danger of communism. If conditions are too bad and they are without hope, they turn to other presumed cures. The Allies must help us, in the press and in propaganda, so that communism does not stand a chance.”

On September 29, Badoglio had met with Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower and signed secret armistice terms under which Italy virtually lost its sovereignty. Under the new war measures, antifascists were forbidden to demonstrate, organize political parties or express their views in the media. Newspapers and radio stations were only placed in the hands of those who supported the US and British-backed regime. When antifascists attempted to organize and publish illegally, as they had done under the Mussolini regime, they were arrested.

The Allied determination to avert revolution went to the point of hiring fascists. Neither the OSS (CIA forerunner) nor army counterintelligence had a spy apparatus in Italy, so they hired the SIM-CS, Italy’s counterintelligence operation, whose agents over the previous 20 years arrested and murdered antifascists.

 

 

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Things to ponder

While our media prostitutes, many Hollywood celebs, and politicians and opinion shapers make so much noise about the still to be demonstrated damage done by the Russkies to our nonexistent democracy, this is what the sanctimonious US government has done overseas just since the close of World War 2. And this is what we know about. Many other misdeeds are yet to be revealed or documented.

Parting shot—a word from the editors
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