Now and then.
A dual perspective on fascism

Fascisms of yesterday, fascisms of today. This dual perspective characterized the online round table held ahead of the Holocaust Remembrance Day on the initiative of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities. The focus, addressed by some experts, was a theme outlined as follows: “There is a precise Italian responsibility, of the fascist regime with all its characterizations, which led to the war, the persecution and the extermination of Italian Jews”.
The way in which fascism has penetrated the Italian culture, the way it has asserted itself, the matrices of organization of the State and power, the violence and the propaganda system have been the object of study and research. But still, it was noted, “there is insufficient knowledge, awareness and sense of responsibility for this past”. Yet it is a very topical issue in the current epochal crisis “which makes prejudices never eradicated re-emerge and often explode” and conspiracy ideas, “which today as yesterday often lead to identifying a convenient culprit”, resurface.
“The physical distance that currently separates us certainly does not diminish the importance of addressing these issues,” said in his introductory greeting the general secretary of the Prime Minister Roberto Chieppa. Some recent initiatives were recalled: from the adoption of the IHRA definition to the appointment of Milena Santerini as national coordinator against anti-Semitism.
“Memory – said Chieppa – is important also to remind us that we have experienced worse moments than those we are going through and we have come out of them/we made it through/ne siamo usciti”. Memory, he added, is also a challenge and a stimulus to address “all those inequalities that are increasing with the pandemic”.
“The theme chosen this year – said the president of UCEI Noemi Di Segni, UCEI – is mainly political. In fact, we realized the need to open our eyes to what is happening today”. This effort of awareness is aimed above all at the new generations, with a clearly expressed concern for all those young people who are today attracted “by a path of hatred”. Among the episodes cited is that of the brutal murder of twenty-year-old Willy Monteiro Duarte, last summer, in Colleferro. Appreciation was also given to the government for the determination placed in the fight against anti-Semitism. A theme that, also through the national strategy recently sent to Palazzo Chigi, “is the subject of a specific study”.