Think fascism went away? No, it just mutates, like a virus, into new forms, seemingly more acceptable, the better to lure its targets into infection – such as the "centre-right," bread-and-circus, crony capitalism of Silvio Berlusconi. But its true colors eventually emerge, when the hard-Rightists think they are secure enough in power. Witness these excerpts from The Guardian story, Row Over Mussolini's Nazi Army Opens Old Wounds:
The soldiers of Benito Mussolini's Nazi puppet republic should be accorded the same status as wartime resistance fighters and regular combatants, the Italian government will argue in a bill to be placed before parliament today...
But the controversial move by Silvio Berlusconi's government will reopen old wounds, raising painful questions about the Italians' view of their past and which side they feel they were really on in the second world war. After Italy capitulated to the allies in 1943 the Germans withdrew to the north and installed the country's ousted fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, at the head of a so-called Italian Social Republic.
With its capital at Salo, on the shores of Lake Garda, his dictatorship enjoyed an increasingly tenuous existence from November 1943 until April 1945.
Harassed by the growing partisan movement, the Germans and their diehard fascist allies hit back with ferocious reprisals, often carried out by irregulars whose former members would also be covered by the law..