On Liberation Day, Italy Continues to Struggle Against Revisionism and Fascist Legacy in Government

Liberation Day not only marks the defeat of Nazi occupation and the disbanding of fascist structures that plagued Italy for two decades, but also honors the contributions made by thousands of resistance members to such liberation.

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Rome's Mayor Roberto Gualtieri (C) and Roberto Salis (3rdL) father of Italian activist detained in Hungary, Ilaria, take part in a rally organized by the National Association of Italian Partisans (Anpi) to mark the 79th anniversary of Liberation Day, in Rome on April 25, 2024. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

Dozens of cities and towns across Italy commemorated Liberation Day on April 25, reflecting on the struggle against fascism. Amid calls for solidarity and peace issued ahead of the day itself, the demonstrations were held in a context of high-strung tension as the government, led by Giorgia Meloni, embraced policies perceived by most as a nod to Italy’s darkest times.

Liberation Day not only marks the defeat of Nazi occupation and the disbanding of fascist structures that plagued Italy for two decades, but also honors the contributions made by thousands of resistance members to such liberation. Groups like Potere al Popolo! underscored the importance of keeping the memory of the anti-fascist resistance alive and active, urging people to join the demonstrations to oppose all forms of oppression and the erasure of popular struggles from public memory.

In the weeks leading up to Liberation Day, the discourse within government circles stirred uneasiness. Several ministers indirectly challenged the day’s significance, continuing to push for policies that seem to undermine the foundational values of the republic. The National Association of Partisans of Italy (ANPI) has been open in its criticism of this, accusing the government of endangering not only economic but also social rights, betraying a legacy which honored the working class and repudiated war.

Instead of recalling this legacy, the current right-wing government prefers a memory “that has its roots in the 20-year fascist era and its nostalgia,” ANPI wrote.

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