MYTHS, MYTHS, MYTHS
In my various blogs I am constantly doing battle with myths -- the myth that Hitler was a Rightist, the myth that global warming is a danger, the myth that Leftists are smarter than Rightists, the myth that being overweight will shorten your lifespan, the myth that salt is bad for you, the myth that more money spent on education will educate the kids better, the myth that Islam is the religion of peace, the myth that America needs illegal immigrants, the myth that the government does anything well, etc., etc.
Two myths that I want to revisit today are the myth that Pope Pius XII was a Nazi collaborator and that Fascism was antisemitic. As a libertarian, I have no time whatsoever for Fascism but it is so grossly misrepresented that I think the untruths have a serious potential to mislead.
In the prewar period, there were Fascist movements in most countries and, largely because they were nationalist movements, there were great national differences between them. Under Hitler's influence, the German version was horribly antisemitic but that was not true of most other versions. In Mussolini's Italy, for instance, Jews were prominent members of the Fascist party in the prewar period and during the war Italy was about the safest place in Europe for Jews to be! Italy rescued most of its Jews during the period of Nazi control there late in the war. And in Britain of the early interwar era, Sir Oswald Mosley used to expel from the British Union of Fascists anybody who made antisemitic speeches. Antisemitism was very common in the interwar era so early in that era the British party which most opposed antisemitism was in fact Mosley's BUF! Pesky! When his meetings came under constant attack from Jewish Leftists, however, Mosley eventually had something of a rethink.
And concerning Pacelli (Pius XII), the true tale of his great efforts to rescue Jews has now long been told but it is still the old Soviet propaganda about him being a Nazi collaborator that lives on in the public consciousness. Like so many myths, what is popularly believed is the reverse of the truth. Pius was simply being a good Italian in failing to see anything wrong with the Jews and doing his best to save them. Although Italy fumbled about on the wrong side of WW2, Italians have nonetheless much to be proud of concerning their treatment of Jews at that time. Extensive data on that in the books below:
And what does all that prove? It shows what conservatives have always said: That reality is a heck of a lot more complex and surprising than the simple generalizations that constitute Leftism.
Herzer, I. (Ed.) (1989) "The Italian refuge: Rescue of Jews during the holocaust". Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press
Steinberg, J. (1990) "All or nothing: The Axis and the holocaust". London: Routledge.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)