American World War I veteran John Roberts Tunis (1889 - 1975) was charged with the task of writing about the two Armistice Day ceremonies as they were marked in both London and Rome; needless to say they were entirely different in nature and spirit. The attached piece is an excerpt from that article and reported on the manner in which fascist Italy observed the anniversary of November 11, 1918 - the day World War I came to a close; a war in which Italy lost 1,240,000 men. Tunnis was disgusted to observe how the Italians seemed to learn nothing from the war - Mussolini's Armistice celebration was drenched in fascist pageantry and the attending masses had far greater interest in their current military adventures in Africa than remembering their sons and fathers who had perished just eighteen years earlier.
At the request of THE LITERARY DIGEST editors, a number of Italian-language journalists working in North America were asked to explain the great success that the Italian Fascists were experiencing in 1922 Italy. This article lists an enormous number of Italian language newspapers that existed in the United States at that time; virtually every medium-sized to large American city had one. We were surprised to find that the most pro-Mussolini Italian-American newspaper operating in the U.S. was located in New York City.
Click here to read about the origins of Fascist thought...
"One thousand men are charged with the personal responsibility of seeing that Il Duce doesn't meet with an untimely death. Their frenzied precautions make him the best protected of all contemporary dictators - a protection which is sorely needed. Sixteen years after the victorious March on Rome a special tribunal dealing with the 'enemies of fascism' is still working along at exceptionally high pressure."
Click here to read about Mussolini's departure from the League of Nations.
"In Italy, every other man is wearing a uniform or just stepped out of one. Every other wife is about to become a mother again. Every boy is lugging a wooden gun and playing at soldier. So it sees to the eye, and amazingly, so it actually is. War, babies, self-sufficiency, poverty, persecution complexes, chest beating, magnetic pride and the most parrotty people in the world. This is the land determined to out-Caesar the greatest Roman of them all. The Italian's thoughts, eyes, ears, destiny, morals, spaghetti, pocketbook and trigger finger are controlled completely by the whim of one man. And the Italians love him."
Click here to read about life in Hitler's Germany during the same period...
This short, slanderous profile of Italy's Victor Emmanuel III (1869 – 1947) is accompanied by a caricature of the potentate:
"He chose Mussolini in 1922 in preference to dictatorship by Premiere (Luigi) Facta, aided him in attaining supreme power...Hasn't had any choice about anything since."
A report on the start of the Italian adventures in Ethiopia:
"The dispute arose over alleged trespasses by Ethiopians on Italian possessions in Eritria and Italian Somaliland, in East Africa."
"A solemn declaration of Abyssinia's peaceful intentions toward Italy was read in broken but emphatic Italian to representatives of the foreign press in Rome by the nervous and impassioned Negradsa Yesus, Abyssinian Charge d' Affaires. In fervent tones he asserted that Abyssinia's intentions were so peaceful 'that if Italy remained without a single soldier and without a single gun in her colonies, Abyssinia would not touch a single stone.'"
Click here to read another article about the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.