Adolf Hitler
Benito Mussolini

What were the main differences between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini?

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September 16, 2013 6:46PM

Benito Mussolini never shared Hitler's obsession in wiping out the Jews in Europe.

In fact, by 1943, most of Italian Jewry was unaffected and left alone, compared to what was happening in Germany and elsewhere.

Maybe not at first but increasing cooperation with Nazi Germany culminated in the 1939 Pact of Steel. Influenced by Hitler, Mussolini began to introduce anti-Jewish legislation in Italy. And not just that BUT... Benito Mussolini was a fierce anti-Semite, who proudly said that his hatred for Jews preceded Adolf Hitler's and vowed to "destroy them all," according to previously unpublished diaries by the Fascist dictator's longtime mistress. AND...

ANTISEMITIC LEGISLATION:

In part under pressure from Nazi Germany and in part fearing that their "revolution" was not perceived as "real" in the Italian population, the Fascist regime passed antisemitic legislation beginning in 1938. This legislation covered six areas:

1) definition of Jews

2) removal of Jews from government jobs, including teachers in the public schools

3) a ban on marriage between Jews and non-Jews

4) dismissal of Jews from the armed forces

5) incarceration of Jews of foreign nationality; and

6) the removal of Jews from positions in the mass media

Not anti-Semitic? Where did you get your facts from deniers anonymous?

I can understand your inability to comprehend our answers. I am a student of World War II history and have lived in Germany and even speak the language.

Mussolini NEVER EVER possessed the same degree of hatred of Jewry that Hitler and others held. In 1942 when asked about any anti-Jewish programs that were being carried out, including concentration camps, Mussolini confessed that he wasn't that interested in "dealing with the Jews". You have to keep in mind that Mussolini early in his political career was a strong Socialist and journalist-not a rabid anti-semite! There had never been a huge number of Jews in Italy unlike Germany and majority of them were certainly not wealthy or powerful. Mussolini was much more interested in getting the trains to run on time and to improve the nation's economy during the depression and to expand his Italian influence in Africa and the Mediterranean.

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I guess we can start with what they had in common. Both were fascist dictators who had their political roots formed in WWI. Major differences were that Adolf Hitler while wishing for German hegemony over Europe (and the world eventually) also had strong ideological beliefs regarding the superiority of the Aryan race over all others. Needless to say he did not even think Jews (among others) were human beings. He said they should be eradicated. Mussolini was more benign (for lack of a better word) in that he was looking to share in the spoils of the war that Hitler started and expected to win. His goal was to create a 20th century Roman Empire in the Mediterranean. Another big difference between the two were the populations under them. Hitler enjoyed the slavish support of his people to the very end while Mussolini gradually lost the confidence of his people (my grandmother excepted).

Benito Mussolini never shared Hitler's obsession in wiping out the Jews in Europe.

In fact, by 1943, most of Italian Jewry was unaffected and left alone, compared to what was happening in Germany and elsewhere. Mussolini, unlike Hitler, was a strong Socialist and a Journalist before he changed and help to organize the black shirts and the Fascist Party in 1921. Mussolini, unlike Hitler, was fluent in several languages, including English and had travelled extensively around Europe. Mussolini, to Hitler's astonishment, never arrested the King of Italy or had him overthrown and remained the head of the Italian republic.