Salò’s Colony: the Italian Islands of the Aegean and the Italian Social Republic (1943-1945)

By the armistice of 1943 Italy still maintained one colonial possession, the Italian Islands of the Aegean. The Italian Social Republic delegated to the local colonial administration full control over the archipelago and its inhabitants, endorsing full cooperation with the German forces.

The goal of this research project is to organically frame the administrative, political and social reality of the settlement under italo-german control, stressing its continuities and discontinuities with the previous colonial system, especially regarding the policies towards the subjected local communities. We wish to bring the specific asymmetric relationship between Italians and the Germans of this administration within the asymmetric system of the Aegean colony. We’ll try to delineate the new ideological, political and social elements of this new republican fascist colonial system and to present the relationship between the old Italian colonial elite, the local communities and the German forces by moving beyond the superficial dualism of collaboration and resistance.

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