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Fascism and ideology - Wikipedia

Ironically, perhaps the most serious and worrisome opposition to Hitler came from Benito Mussolini in .

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FRANCIA, the Franks, France, Burgundy, Italy, Germany

Arthur Szyk was born in Lodz, Poland 3 June 1894. He enlisted in the Russian Army in 1914. He served for six months and saw front-line action. After World War I he fought as an officer in a Polish guerilla regiment against the Bolsheviks and eventually located in Paris in 1921. With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 he began producing cartoons and eventually moved to New York City. During the war he created numerous covers for Collier's magazine. He published a book filled with patriotic and anti-Fascist images, The New Order, G.P. Putnam's Sons, N.Y., 1941. The American Office of War Information (OWI) in Bern, Switzerland, used two of Szyk’s drawings for propaganda leaflets. The Szyk caricature above depicts Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe and President of the Reichstag Hermann Goering, a figure representing Death, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito. The OWI produced a propaganda postcard coded "RLD" with the new title Trimpfzug Unter den Linden Berlin 1943, ("Triumph under the Linden trees, Berlin 1943").


During World War II the leaders of the Axis powers (Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito) were sometimes depicted by Allied "black" propagandists as monsters. Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. This type of propaganda is associated with covert psychological operations. The enemy leaders were caricatured as gorillas, skeletons, rats, or whatever the Allied "psywarriors" could dream up. This was all part of the process of wartime depersonalization, the destruction of an individual as a human being and the resultant new image of him as vermin good only for killing.

The Vilification of Enemy Leadership in WWII - Psywarrior

Kings and Emperors of the Franks, France, Burgundy, Italy, and Germany

This Army propaganda postcard depicts a caricature of Benito Mussolini with jutting chin and pointy ears in an open car with Claretta Petacci (Bibi), his 33-year-old mistress. Text on the front in English, Italian and French is “Bibi’s Escape.” A suitcase in the open truck is labeled “Shining gold.”

The British Psychological Warfare Executive did prepare a leaflet to France identified as F59. This leaflet shows the braggart Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and is entitled "The Friend of Pierre Laval." The leaflet was dropped over France from the night of 3 June to 20 August 1942. Italy had attacked France to grab some territory once it became clear that Germany was going to be victorious. The British here remind the French that Mussolini is a good friend of fellow-Fascist Pierre Laval. Laval will be mentioned again near the end of this article.

The Vilification of Enemy Leadership in WWII

Arthur Syzk Caricature: The New Order

Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini got off fairly lightly. With his jutting chin, thick neck and bald head, he was already a caricature. Most American propaganda simply showed him as a bumbling fool. That is odd when you remember that he was the original black-shirted Fascist and the man who was an early mentor of Hitler. In fact, the German leader admired Mussolini enough to send Sturmbannfüehrer Otto Skorzeny on a commando mission to rescue him after he had been imprisoned by the Italian government. Still, the Italian Army suffered defeat after defeat and was never a threat to the Allies so perhaps attacking Il Duce was simply not worth the bother.

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