Italy raids homes of 24 people who attended pro-Hitler meeting in Ferrara’s Jewish quarter

This picture taken from a publicly distributed police video shows some of the items recovered in the homes of 24 people investigated for apology of fascism in Ferrara, northern Italy, Feb. 14, 2024. (Italian Police via AP)
This picture taken from a publicly distributed police video shows some of the items recovered in the homes of 24 people investigated for apology of fascism in Ferrara, northern Italy, Feb. 14, 2024. (Italian Police via AP)

Italian police raid the homes of 24 people under investigation for promoting fascism during a gathering at a restaurant in the Jewish quarter of Ferrara during which they lauded dictators Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

The suspects were all residents of the northern Italian city in their 20s and 30s who attended a December 20 gathering where they passed out material that not only praised Hitler and Mussolini, but also insulted Anne Frank and the Black Italian athlete Fiona May, says investigator Andrea Zaccone.

The group threatened to kill other diners who interrupted their racist choruses, and refused to stop even after police responded to complaints, he says.

The suspects are under investigation for the charges of inciting racial hatred and apology of fascism, a crime in Italy that exults Italy’s fascist past and seeks to revive the fascist party.

During raids, police recovered orange prison uniforms, a fake pistol, chains, knives and batons as well as printed material, including calendars, with Mussolini’s image. Electronic devices seized in the raids are being studied to see if the incident was a one-off or part of a larger pattern.

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