Fascist Nostalgia - Italy
It may seems incredible yet despite Benito Mussolini’s death almost 70 years ago, the once leader of the Italian government and Fascist Party still evokes much fascination and boasts a steady following. The deeply rooted phenomenon should not be undervalued as the 85,000 Facebook “likes” clearly state in pages dedicated to the fascist dictator. Born in Predappio, on the eastern coast of Italy, on 29th July 1883, the extreme right- wing celebrate his birth date every year. Roman Eagles, Fascist symbols and banners march through the centre of town towards the cemetery where Mussolini is buried in the family crypt. Official celebrations are held during the October festivities to commemorate the anniversary of the 20 year Fascist and on the nearest Sunday to July 29th for the Mussolini Birthday. The event starts when people gather in Sant’Antonio Square and then follow Father Tam, a neo- fascist defrocked priest and spiritual leader of fascist militants, towards the cemetery. Father Tam sermons them on the “truncheon rosary” inciting against muslims, homosexuals and communists, amongst others. The parade and much chanting of the roman salute “Eja eja eja alalà” is followed by lunch at Villa Mussolini where the family once lived. Guests are surrounded by memorabilia of the regime and the legend goes that when a uniform once worn by Mussolini was laid out on his bed a reflection of his face appeared in the glass mirror in his room. A couple of shops in Predappio stock an extensive array of souvenir gadgets to meet the taste of fascist fans; celtic crosses, t-shirts, busts of the Duce, docs and e gies of all sizes. All of which can obviously be bought online in this timeless immortal business which has thousands of supporters of varying degrees of awareness and ideological standing. So whilst in Germany they are busy destroying the tomb of Rudolf Hess ( European neo-nazi shrine) in Italy Mussolini’s Mausoleum survives the attacks of those who would like to see it, together with all traces of the Fascist Era, cancelled of the face of the earth.