1940 Christmas

This Christmas tree image was taken in Hungary in 1940. In November of the same year the country had joined the Axis Powers, and remained both staunchly pro-German and fascist throughout

This Christmas tree image was taken in Hungary in 1940. In November of the same year the country had joined the Axis Powers, and remained both staunchly pro-German and fascist throughout the Second World War.

On this day: Anti-Semitism in Italy

This is the cover of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera from the 11th of November, 1938. The headline announces the country’s fascist government approving Italian Racial Laws, which discriminated against a number of groups and stripped Jews of their citizenship, barring them from many institutions.

While Italy didn’t have the significant Jewish population of some other areas of Europe, dictator Benito Mussolini fell into line with Adolf Hitler on racial policies. Italy aligned itself with Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Corriere_testata_1938 Front page of Corriere della Sera the day Italian racial laws were enacted by the Fascist regime, in 1938. Anti-Semistism in Italy. 1930s.

On this day: Italy declares war.

Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini stands on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome to declare war on France and Great Britain on the 10th of June, 1940.

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Mussolini_DOW_10_June_1940 Italian leader Benito Mussolini delivering his war declaration on France and Great britain from the Palazzo Venezia Balcony in Rome. Fscist dictator.

Meanwhile, in Turin in the north of the country, people gather in a piazza to listen to the declaration on the radio.

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Turin-10-6-1940 People in Charles Albert Square, Turin, listening to the radio message of Benito Mussolini from Rome, announcing the italian declaration of war, 10th June 1940.

On this day: Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses

The 24th of April, 1933 is considered to be the day Nazi Germany began their persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as it is the date the Bible Student headquarters in Magdeburg were seized by police. This came only a few months after Adolf Hitler came to power.

If Jehovah’s Witnesses were willing to renounce their religion they were promised freedom from persecution. Below is a Nazi renouncement document.

If Jehovah's Witnesses were willing to renounce their religion they were promised freedom from persecution. Nazi renouncement document.

From 1935 onwards, many people who kept their religion were sent to concentration camps.

The persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses continues today, with Russia outlawing the religion only days ago.

On this day: the invasion of Albania

Italy’s rapidly successful invasion of Albania, run by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, began on the 7th of April, 1939. The Albanian king, Zog I, was forced into exile, and the entire operation was complete only five days later, on the 12th.
Italian_soldiers_passing_Albanians,_7_April_1939 Italian invasion of Albania Fascist
Albania was made part of the Italian Empire, with its sea ports being considered important to the regime.
Italian_army_2Italian invasion of Albania 7th April 1939 Fascist Italy Italian Empire

On this day: International Unemployment Day

international-unemployment-day-communists-reds-demonstrations-6th-march-1930-old-newspaper-the-new-york-times-march-7-1930

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International Unemployment Day was an event that took place at the time of the Great Depression, occurring on the 6th of March, 1930. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including in the United States, Germany, England, France, Spain and Austria marched to protest mass unemployment.

In New York City and Detroit the protests turned violent, with baton-wielding police attacking crowds of tens of thousands.

communist-march1930-new-yorks-communist-newspaper-deliberately-listed-the-incorrect-date-for-the-event-international-unemployment-day-6th-march-1930

New York’s The Communist newspaper gave the incorrect date for the event.

Germany, the non-Soviet country with the largest Communist Party, also saw their protests turn violent, while in Austria demonstrators clashed with Fascist youth in the streets of Vienna.