Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Non-Fascist Wave

I posted today’s “Nazi of the Week” photo before I even read the article below. I’d love to say that life imitates art, but this AGI piece is actually dated June 17th.

With some difficulty I dug up a copy of the photo in question, as scanned from an Italian newspaper, so that you all can make up your own minds:

Brambilla Denies Fascist Salute, Just Waving

Brambilla's wave(AGI) — Rome, 17 June — “I’m horrified”. Minister of Tourism Michela Vittoria Brambilla stated as much during today’s public meeting in Montecatini.

The minister was commenting on an article published today by ‘la Repubblica’, saying that “I’m horrified. But can anyone in good faith truly believe that a picture with a raised arm (as there are for Berlusconi and D’Alema, Obama and Fini, Bertinotti and Cossiga) means that I am the ‘minister with the Roman salute’, especially during an official ceremony attended by the press?

“And what reason would I have to publicly use this condemnable and unjustified gesture just after becoming a newly appointed minister, with no past trace of such behaviour on my part?
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“Obviously there is only one answer that covers all angles and that is that the picture was taken while I was saluting the crowd. That somebody could misinterpret my gesture never crossed my mind.

“To those who are still suspicious but not in bad faith (as I believe is the case for those that raised the issue) I can only say that I never made or contemplated making a laudatory gesture for the fascist regime, a regime for which I never gave any sign of indulgence or for which I ever expressed any sympathy”.

Hat tip: Insubria.


babs said...

It is easy to capture one split second on film and then build a story around it. I am inclined to believe that she was raising her hand in order to wave. Try it yourself. For a short moment of time your arm is extended before you start waving.
And snap, Nazi!

spackle said...

This reminds me of a Simpsons episode. Grandpa Simpson is on a PT boat with a young JFK during ww2. JFK practicing a future speech says "Ich bin ein Berliner". Grandpa hears him and yells "He's a Nazi! Get him!", and JFK gets his but whomped by grandpa and the entire crew. Classic.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Interesting - and true - that it is called "Roman salute". Nazi Germany was stealing their ideas from everywhere (not least Marx, BTW), and even the name "Third Reich" implicitly refers to the two previous empires, the original Roman and the German-Roman one, which each lasted somewhere like a millenium.

Fortunately, a dozen years was all the Nazi goons got. Unfortunately, they committed crimes at a faster pace than any other known regime in history.

Learning about fascism in its various incarnations is useful, including learning just how much it has in common with socialism. If we know this material, we just might avoid repeating the mistakes.

Simon said...

"Third Reich" refers to the third German Reich - first being the Holy Roman Empire, the Second Reich begun with Prussia's victory over France in 1870 and ending in 1918.

Henrik R Clausen said...

S'mon, you're right, my mistake.