By Jonathan Steinberg
Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy have been united in a 'brutal friendship'. either had savage racial legislation: either Hitler and Mussolini viciously denounced the 'Jewish menace'. but each one country handled the Jews really in a different way. while Jews who fell into the hands of the German military have been consigned, nearly with out exception to focus camps, now not one Jew taken through the Italians suffered an identical destiny. Italian officials secure not only Italian Jews, yet Jewish refugees of each nationality. Jonathan Steinberg makes use of this impressive and poignant tale to resolve the causes and forces underpinning either Nazism and Fascism in an try and get to the bottom of the underlying query: Why?
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Additional info for All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-43
Mihailović and his cetniks (a Serbo-Croat word for band) were to go on fighting Germans, Italians, other cetniks, partisans (after the invasion of Russia on 22 June 1941) and each other until the war ended. The confusions, divisions and complexities of Balkan politics burst into open warfare among armed bands. The terrain suited guerrilla warfare. There were long traditions of hajduks (Turkish: haydud, bandit) and uskoks (pirates) who went to the woods to wage guerrill warfare against the Turks.
19 Arendt’s book, like Deakin’s, has become a classic. To it we owe the now familiar concept of the ‘banality of evil’ which she saw unfolded in the thousands of German bureaucratic decisions to murder the entire Jewish people. Yet as Deakin missed the holocaust, Arendt missed the Axis. In effect, she never noticed the ‘banality of the good’, the semi-official character of Italian behaviour. Her eye caught the dark but missed the light. Hence she could see the remarkable story but not the problem of policy.
I am certain, even as I write, that part of the puzzle will always be missing. That part of policy-making which rests on the unspoken assumption, on winks and nods, on the exchange of glances, can never be recaptured. I am convinced that the gradual awareness of the German intention to exterminate the entire Jewish people made a profound difference to the way the Italian political class behaved, not least because, as I shall try to show, that knowledge reached it at the moment when a series of crises in North Africa and on the Russian front suddenly brought the prospect of defeat and the end of the regime into view.
All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust 1941-43 by Jonathan Steinberg