Italy memorial to Fascist commander Graziani is an ethical stain
Graziani – commanding Italian forces in Libya
A political row has erupted in Italy after a memorial was opened to fascist commander Field Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, a convicted war criminal.
Graziani was honoured with a mausoleum and memorial park, built at taxpayers’ expense, in a village south of Rome.
He was notorious as Benito Mussolini’s military commander in colonial wars in Ethiopia and Libya where he carried out massacres and used chemical weapons…
“Is it possible to allow, accept or simply tolerate that, in 2012, we dedicate a park and a museum to the fascist general and minister Rodolfo Graziani?” asked Esterino Montino, head of the Democratic Party in the Lazio region.
He pointed to the “crimes against humanity committed by Graziani in Ethiopia in the 1930s”, La Repubblica newspaper reports.
Graziani was sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment for war crimes in 1948 but was released from jail after serving only two years, and died in 1955.
The BBC’s David Willey, in Rome, says that the cult of fascist heroes remains alive in certain parts of Italy despite the outlawing of the fascist party in the country’s postwar constitution.
He adds that it is curious, however, that there has been no formal protest that a crypto-fascist mayor of a small town near the capital can, in 2012, publicly honour a man who brought death to thousands of Africans and dishonour to his own country.
He was accompanied by a representative from the Vatican. That’s no surprise either.