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Facing FearThe History of an Emotion in Global Perspective$
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Michael Laffan and Max Weiss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153599

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153599.001.0001

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Italian Fascism’s Wartime Enemy and the Politics of Fear

Italian Fascism’s Wartime Enemy and the Politics of Fear

Chapter:
(p.114) Chapter 6 Italian Fascism’s Wartime Enemy and the Politics of Fear
Source:
Facing Fear
Author(s):

Marla Stone

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691153599.003.0007

This chapter examines how the specter of a demonic Communist enemy came to occupy a central place in the Italian Fascist imaginary during the regime's mobilization of the politics of fear. Two critical periods in Italian Fascism's wars are discussed: the military participation on the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), framed by the Fascist regime as a “holy war” against communism, and Nazi Germany's war against the Soviet Union (1941–1943). The chapter shows how Fascist propaganda depicted Italy's wartime enemies in a way that tapped into the deepest fears of many Italians and their feelings of uncertainty about issues such as family, morality, and the Church. Facing waning support and growing resistance, the regime found that terror and anxiety were more effective in forging a connection between it and the population than a defense of Fascism.

Keywords:   fear, Italian Fascism, Spanish Civil War, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, communism, enemies, family, terror, anxiety

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