Would you like a birthday cake with Nazi and fascist symbols? Most people would say no, and most of us would be horrified by the idea. But a senior official in the northern Italian region of Veneto, Massimo Giorgetti, chose to celebrate his day of birth just this way. As Stephanie Kirchgaessner wrote on the Guardian, Giorgetti’s cake “was decorated with two SS bolts, as they are known, which are derived from Hitler’s paramilitary Schutzstaffel (SS) and are considered neo-Nazi and white supremacist symbols.” At the center, there was the fascist symbol, framed in chocolate.
Not only was the idea of this cake decoration horrible, but the cake was barely criticized considering that as the vice-president of the Veneto legislature and a member of Forza Italia, Mr. Giorgetti is a public figure, not a private citizen. On his Facebook page, he said that it was simply a “playful gesture by old comrades and friends at a private party.”
“If the publication of the photo has hurt the sensitivity of someone – he wrote – I’m sorry and I apologize. It wasn’t my intention to do so,” he declared. However, he has no intention either of resigning or feeling ashamed. Maybe because, as quoted by the Guardian, he thinks that Mussolini “had modernized Italy and was ‘fine’, apart from his alliance with Adolf Hitler and the adoption of race laws during the country’s fascist era.”