Fascism was popular during the 20th century, especially after World War I. It is a political ideology that revolves around militarism, dictatorship, and supremacy of the nation over an individual; it is the exact opposite of the traditional rules that govern most countries today. In Europe, fascism started in Italy and later spread to Germany. Even though this movement was widely abandoned, it’s still a popular ideology that politicians loosely use today. Here are some strange things you may not have known about fascists.

1. The Owner of Daily Mail and Daily Mirror Strongly Supported Fascism

The Daily Mail is one of the most popular magazine companies in the United Kingdom. Incidentally, one of its co-founders, Harold Harmsworth, was a strong fascist. During the 1930s, Harold’s newspaper company openly supported and sympathized with Hitler and his take on fascism. The paper also actively endorsed Mussolini when he got into power.

2. The US Released an Anti-Fascism Film in 1947

To help prevent the spread of the fascist ideology, the United States Army Signal Corps released a film named “Don’t Be a Sucker”. It was based on the events of 1943 and the entire war era. The movie’s theme was promoting anti-fascist propaganda.

3. Fascist Leader Mussolini Was a “Protector of Islam”

Besides being among the original creators of fascism, Benito Mussolini was also once the “protector of Islam”. In the 1930s, Mussolini wanted to gain favor with the Muslims in Libya. Therefore, despite being a Christian, Mussolini took the name “Protector of Islam” and was awarded the sword of Islam. The title was given to him by an Italian collaborator, Lusuf Keriscm.

4. Julius Evola Referred to Himself as a Super Fascist During a Trial

In a trial that happened in 1951, philosopher Julius Evola, known for his controversial stands, referred to himself as not just a fascist but a super fascist. He was acquitted of his charges and continued to spread fascism after World War II.

5. Fascist Leader Mussolini Gave Vatican City It’s Independence

Benito Mussolini, the famous Italian fascist leader, and Pope Pius XI signed a treaty in 1929, which was critical in giving Vatican City independence. Since Mussolini was a Christian, he had no problem signing this treaty with the Church.

6. Fascism Has No Distinct Meaning

Different dictionaries have varying meanings of the word fascism. Even though it’s centered on authoritarianism and racial purity, the term fascism or fascist has been used as an insult, a boo word for political gatherings, and much more. Therefore, the word fascist has no definitive meaning.

7. Fascism Does Not Support Communism

Even though most people think the two are similar, they are pretty different – fascists do not advocate for communism. If anything, fascists are against communism. Although communists are sometimes called fascists, it’s usually more of an insult than anything.

8. Nazism was Built Purely out of Fascism

After World War I, the Nazis promised to restore Germany’s economy and set it on the path to prosperity. However, a closer look at Nazism clearly portrays fascism. The movement utilized militarism and blamed certain races, such as the Jews, for some of their social problems.

9. Fascism Got Its Name from a Bundle of Wood

In Latin, fascism comes from fasces, a bundle of wooden rods. Mussolini used the wooden rod symbol to spread propaganda for his movement.

10. The Texaco Oil Company was Associated with Fascism During the Spanish Civil War

During the Spanish Civil War, the CEO of Texaco, Torkild Reiber, made a deal with Franco’s regime to supply them with oil, which was a clear violation of United States law. But Torkild sold discounted oil to Franco and shipped it from the US to Spain. All Reiber’s wrongdoings are documented in Adam Hochschild’s book, Spain in Our Hearts. It discusses Americans’ contributions during the Civil War in Spain.

11. Fascism Also Spread to Austria

While it’s true that fascism was majorly centered in Germany and Italy, the ideology also spread to countries like Austria, especially between 1939 and 1940. Although the movement was not widely acknowledged in the region, the few that believed in it wanted authoritarian leadership and used symbols similar to those used by the Nazis. Fascism in Austria mostly pushed for the embracement of Catholicism.

12. Babies Were Stolen During Fascism in Spain

Under Francisco Franco’s leadership, an illegal adoption syndicate was started in the 1930s as a fascist tactic. This syndicate was so well orchestrated that even the parents never found out until the early 2000s when stories emerged about Spain’s stolen babies. It is alleged that these Children were taken away from people with low incomes or anti-fascists and handed over to those who were loyal to Francisco Franco. This went on till the death of Franco in 1975.

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Last Update: March 14, 2024