29 Photographs of Italy’s Fascist Regime


The original fascist ideology is associated with the Fascist Revolutionary Party (PFR), founded in 1915 and was succeeded by the National Fascist Party (PNF) in 1921, which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943.

Fascism was born in the wake of World War I as a result of the inflated economy, large debts, and wide spread unemployment. Discontented factory workers and the peasants’ opposition to the socialist agricultural collectivism. Fascism began to spread through the country side toward the end of 1920. Socialist and Catholic organizers of farm hands were soon attacked by Fascist para-military Blackshirt squads. Nightly expeditions to burn Socialist and Catholic labor headquarters had begun.

Italian fascism was rooted in nationalism, revolutionary socialist syndicalism, and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories, which was deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength. Italian Fascists claimed that Italy is the heir to ancient Rome and its legacy, and had historical claims to control the Mediterranean Sea.

The Fascist movement opposed liberalism in the sense of “the debacle of individualism.” The Fascists also opposed Marxist socialism because of the typical Marxist opposition to nationalism.

Italy’s Fascist state was, necessarily, totalitarian. Mussolini described totalitarianism as seeking to forge an authoritarian national state that would be capable of creating a powerful modern Italy. “Fascism is for the only liberty which can be a serious thing, the liberty of the state and of the individual in the state. Therefore for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state. In this sense fascism is totalitarian, and the fascist state which is the synthesis and unity of every value, interprets, develops and strengthens the entire life of the people.” Thus, individual liberty vanished.

A group of girls in the Littorio fascist youth group. The word Duce behind them is the title of dictator Benito Mussolini. location unspecified. Circa 1937-1939.
A group of young Italians in the Opera Nazionale Balilla fascist group. Location unspecified. Circa 1920-1929. all-that-is-interesting
A gymnastics show performed by the Italian Youth of the Lictor, a youth movement of the Italian Fascist Party. Milan, Italy. Circa 1937-1939. all-that-is-interesting
A Nazi rally goes into full swing, held to welcome Italy’s visiting German allies. Rome, Italy. 1937. New York Public Library
A public gymnastics display. Location and date unspecified. Wikimedia Commons
A public gymnastics display. Location unspecified. Circa 1923-1924. wikimedia commons
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini walk by a row of saluting Italian soldiers during a visit from Germany’s new chancellor. Venice, Italy. June 1934. all-that-is-interesting
An Italian soldier. Location unspecified. 1943. Wikimedia Commons
Benito Mussolini delivers a speech. Milan, Italy. May 1930. all-that-is-interesting
Benito Mussolini waves at a massive crowd of supporters. Rome, Italy. Circa 1920-1930. Wikimedia
Children of the fascist youth consecrate a new flag, while dictator Mussolini looks on. Rome, Italy. October 1931. Bundesarchiv
Fashionable fascists dress up in anticipation of Mussolini’s visit to their city. Aosta, Italy. May 1939. Wikimedia Commons
Inside a massive Fascist Party rally. Rome, Italy. 1937. New York Public Library