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Italian Beef

Letter to Chicago Magazine, October, 2008

  As educators, we believe that history is complex. And we also believe that Scott Ackman and Christopher Schwarz had an obvious ax to grind via their simplistic dismissal of Italian aviator Italo Balbo in the August issue ("Dubious Legacy", Reporter).

    Far from being a "Fascist thug," Balbo argued against Mussolini's eventual political alliance with Hitler. And he--as well as other high ranking Fascist officials--also publicly resisted Italy's rarely enforced 1938 anti-Semitic laws. It was these types of bold actions, as well as his amazing flight, that made Balbo so admired both in Italy and around the world.

  To remove the Balbo monument(s) is akin to promoting public censorship. The statue represents a fascinating chapter of Chicago and world history. And it also invites citizens to take a balanced, nuanced look at a political movement that has been unfairly linked to Communism and Nazism, systems that were far more murderous and evil.

Bill Dal Cerro
National President
Italic Institute of America
Chicago Office

 
 
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