Fascist rally organizer in Italy wears ‘Auschwitzland’ T-shirt
Selene Ticchi, of the Forza Nuova movement, says fashion choice was ’black humor’; lawmaker raises matter in Parliament
ROME – An Italian far-right activist sparked outrage by wearing a T-shirt with a cartoon-like logo reading “Auschwitzland” at a rally in fascist dictator Benito Mussolini’s hometown.
Selene Ticchi wore the T-shirt to a rally Sunday in the northeast town of Predappio. Media described her as an activist with the neo-fascist Forza Nuova movement and an organizer of the rally. Mussolini was born in Predappio and is buried there, and his tomb is a pilgrimage site for right-wing supporters.
The rally is an annual event marking the anniversary of the “March on Rome,” an organized mass demonstration that led to Mussolini and his National Fascist Party taking power in October 1922.
Photos of Ticchi wearing the T-shirt went viral, triggering online protest in a country where “apology for fascism” is banned.
Meanwhile in Italy ????
Meet the #Italian fascist Selene Ticchi – activist in #ForzaNuova, candidate for the mayor of #Budrio. pic.twitter.com/F1pAHvfVRI
— Carmit Navon (@CARMITNAVON) October 29, 2018
Senator Francesco Laforgia of the leftist Free and Equal movement raised the issue in Parliament with a formal query to Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, whose far-right League Party forms Italy’s government in coalition with the populist Five Star Movement. “The apology of fascism […] in the Italian legal system, is a crime,” LaForgia said. “I ask the minister if he intends to apply this law, if he shares the comparison of an extermination camp with a playground and what measures he intends to promote in order to avoid the recurrence of such episodes.”
Ticchi herself joked about her fashion choice, saying in a video interview, “it’s black humor.”
News reports said about 2,000 people marched through Predappio in the rally. As in previous years, many gave the fascist salute and wore fascist-style black shirts and hats. They chanted slogans such as “Duce, Duce” (“leader” – Mussolini’s title) or wore black tTshirts with slogans such as “Honor to the Duce.