Messitte publishes opinion piece on Italy’s fascist past

An opinion piece by President Zach Messitte was published Monday, April 29, in The Washington Post.

In “As nationalism surges, Italy must reckon with its fascist past: Italians celebrate their resistance to fascism, but have yet to fully understand their support for it,” Messitte writes: “As nationalism resurges around the world, and in Italy, Il Duce’s ignominious end and Italians’ understanding of their country’s role in World War II have gained renewed importance. Since 1945, Italians have grappled with how to remember their nation’s role in the war and, in particular, how to include the millions of their fellow countrymen who supported Mussolini in their commemoration of the era.

“These questions of historical memory and political legitimacy are increasingly important because societies with authoritarian-leaning leaders could soon be called upon again to choose whether to act in honorable duty to their nation or in righteous defiance against an unjust government.”

Messitte outlines the history of the country’s division between fascist and anti-fascist supporters and concludes, “While Italy rightly celebrates those who stood against fascism during the war, it must also do the hard work of understanding the hundreds of thousands of Italians who did not, lest the cult of Mussolini return to the nation.”

Messitte is on sabbatical during the spring semester and is living in Italy to research a book about Americans playing basketball in the Italian professional league.


Related Posts

Ripon College President Zach Messitte to leave in 2022

Ripon College President Zach Messitte announced today that he will leave his position at the end of the fall 2021 semester and return to his […]

Guest speaker Tom Nelson

Saving of a Wisconsin paper mill focus of panel discussion Sept. 29

One Day Stronger: How One Union Local Saved a Mill and Changed an Industry — And What It Means for American Manufacturing, a new book […]

Rafael Francisco Salas

Rafael Francisco Salas published in new anthology, will guest lecture in Kenosha

Professor of Art Rafael Francisco Salas has an essay in the newly published anthology Hope is the Thing: Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic. The […]

Chemical reaction

Undergraduate research leads to new discoveries in chemistry for students, professors

Seventeen students collaborated with Professor of Chemistry Joe Scanlon and Associate Professor of Chemistry Patrick Willoughby on ground-breaking research that resulted in a published article […]

President Zach Messitte

 


Related Areas of Study