Talk:Italian war crimes

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I am adding the non-NPOV tag, since I feel there is a deep bias in the way this article has been written.

The article is incomplete and incorrect, there is another question (and that includes italian concentration camps): should war crimes committed by the R.S.I (the puppet regime of Hitler in northern Italy) be counted as italian? They were trialed in Nürnberg together with other Nazi crimes so officially were committed by the Germans. After the armistice Hitler annected Alto-Adige adn other parts of eastern Italy as a compensation and immediately the extermination camps were built in Italy, but this happened in Germany, because those regions belonged to Germany at that time. The CROWCASS [1] archive in fact lists only crimes committed before 1943 and those are certainly a small part.

thats not true italian acts in tripolitania and now ethipia were really gruesome.--Tresckow 11:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

WWII Victims in Yugoslavia[edit]

This one is really interesting [2]

According to the listings of the State Commision for the Establishment of War Crimes Committed by Occupying Forces and Collaborators, performed in 1946: In The Croatian territory only 13.000 people died of typhoid, 22,376 were killed by Germans, 12.500 by Germans and Italians, 8.111 by Italians. Bosnia and Hercegovina had about the same number of victims.

serbian victims of WWII

 National Liberation Army soldiers                                   82,000
 Collaborators and "quislings"                                       23,000
 Taken to the German camp in Zemun                                   20,000
 Died of typhoid                                                     25,000
 Killed by Germans                                                   45,000
 Killed by Italians                                                  15,000
 Civilians killed in battles between Ustashas,Chetniks and Partisans 34,000
 Killed in prisons, pits and other camps                             28,000
 Killed in the Jasenovac-Gradina camp                                50,000     
 Total number of those killed and the dead                            322,000                                                                            

Concentration Camps in Yugoslavia[edit]

Lubiana had a popolation of 80.000 in 1942, on Juny 27-28-29-30th and July 1st 1942 20435 persons were controlled and 2858 (3.5% of the entire population) arrested and sent to concentration camps becouse either ex-military or political oppositors, 771 of them where students.

Approximately 30.000 persons were interned in concentration camps controlled by the II Army, Yugoslavian military, families of partisans (Orders were to kill the partisans and accomplices on the spot, arrest their entire family, confiscate all their properties), political opponents and Jews. Several orders sent by the Commander of the IInd Army stressed that in no case Partisans or their accomplices had to be captured alive. The death rate was extimated by italian doctors as 2%, very high but a lot inferior to that of German concentration camps. According to Yugoslavian sources approximately 2700 persons died in italian concentration camps.Renicci the mast famus camp, near Anghiari(Arezzo)


First of all, the reference to war crimes is inaccurate to describe the occupation of Trieste, Gorizia and Zara, since all of these are war compensations. Furthermore, saying Istria is Slovenian may be correct now, not in 1930s, when these facts are set (no Slovenia after WWI, but only Yugoslavia).

Second, Italy was a colonial power, and acted as a colonial power. That said, someone should motivate the cruelness accuse.

Third, being one of the aggressive Axis Powers in World War II is not a war crime. As far as war could be fair, Italy acted fairly against France, United Kingdom and United States (as well as Greece and Yugoslavia).

Fourth, the definition of volte-face is biased. The same act can be defined as armistice, and the article does not mention in any way that less than two months before the alleged volte-face, Fascist dictature fell.

That said, the only part that could be presented as Italian war crimes is the actions taken in Yugoslavia and Greece, as reported by the bibliography, but it would require a development to become an article.

--Panairjdde 10:05, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)


And Ethiopia, then Abessinia imho, see Pietro Badoglio. When the article is finished it will be clearer why Italian policies are closer to definition of genocide than "just" war crimes. Meanwhile, you chen check Rab, Gonars, Ustje and of cours Crimini di guerra page if you understand Italian...

I am not telling that Italy made no war crimes, I am just telling that the article is badly written, and disputable. If you think to be right, go on and write it better. Note also that there were Italian concentration camps also in Italy; this is well known.--Panairjdde 11:14, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Furthermore, could you please let me know the Italian war crimes committed by Badoglio? --Panairjdde 13:15, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Tag changed to LOng NPOV which is appropriate: please dispute each datum/paragraph w. counter arguments. Sufficient reliable references are presented. Please help with further improving the article. If you do not have time, I am sure other Wikipedians can contribute. Best regards MGTom 14:14, 2005 Feb 16 (UTC)

I confuted the Background events section. If no one disagrees, I will remove it in the next days.--Panairjdde 16:11, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Thank you for giving interesting coments and additional information. The Background section is not very strong, I have deposited there material text on reorganisation. It may be better to spred any relevant information in other articles to which this may refer back. The part that realy needs additions (besides the lists of course) is the Aftermath, which is surprising. The working of the real world power play are fascinating. Colonial episodes may find a place elswhere; your presentation of usual practices may be used. MGTom 20:28, 2005 Feb 16 (UTC)
I changed the tag from long NPOV to cleanup, since this seems the matter. Accordin to my opinion, the Background section should be removed, since its contents are of no relevance to the article – the only relevant information is that Italy fought in WWII. It is necessary to fill the List of Italian war crimes (maybe Rab, Gonars, Ustje?), to explain what's inside the referenced documents, and so on. I really consider this article, in the current state, as a stub. --Panairjdde 09:24, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Rewrite of the article is needed, indeed. As noted above, the Background section may be eliminated by addition of references to such infromation in other articles.

The following quotation on the guiding principle of the Fascist policy may be a fitting motto (or one of the quotations) for one (or several) articles on the history of the Kingdom of Italy as a colonnial power & the policy on the "new" territories:

"Faced with an inferior and barbarous race such as the Slavs, one does not have to follow a policy that offers candies, but one of the stick. The borders of Italy should be the Brenner, Nevoso (Snežnik) and the Dinarides: I think that it is possible to sacrifice 500,000 barbarian Slavs for 50,000 Italians.""

(From a speach of the Fascist duce Benito Mussolini, later the Royal Italy's Prime Minister (1922 to 1943) in a speech in Pola/Pula (1920) and refers to the policy intended by the later ruling party for the area of Istria and on the Slovene national territory [3], in Italian) MGTom 20:35, 2005 Feb 20 (UTC)

What was said and how it materialised[edit]

Ok, but how this speech (1920) translated into war crimes (1944)? --Panairjdde 13:15, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Threough a histroic process of History of Italy. Mostly quite literally, finally also through Italian military instructions, such as the ill-famed Roatta's "3-C" CIRCOLARE N. 3 C; 1° dicembre 1942-XXI°[4], see also in book form: [5]


- Il trattamento da fare ai partigiani non deve essere sintetizzato dalla formula: "dente per dente" ma bensì da quella "testa per dente".(etc.)
In summary translation, the instructions read: not "tooth-for-tooth" but "head-for-tooth". And heads did roll, military or civillian. MGTom 22:18, 2005 Mar 2 (UTC)

Ok, so I now repeat, how did these words translated into war crimes? Note that the non-military (I mean, civil formations, not soldiers) resitance is considered a military action behind enemy lines, and it can be punished with death.--Panairjdde 14:26, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Scope of article?[edit]

What is the scope of this article meant to be? There are several articles (German war crimes, Italian war crimes, Japanese war crimes, the recently-deleted Korean war crimes) that seem problematic to me for the same reason. The subject matter itself is clearly encyclopedic, and each incident should probably have its own article. But these articles are constructed as (ethnic group) + (type of heinous crime), tending to impugn the ethnic group as a whole. I don't think that's the goal, but it shows the need for a clearer focus. It would be fine to have articles about war crimes in a particular war, and perhaps for war crimes committed by a particular state actor (although these might be better as categories or lists). But there's no need to have an article about war crimes committed by members of any particular ethnic group, jumping across time periods and states. I suggest this article be made into a list or category, and renamed. --Amble (talk) 04:00, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I suggest a move to "War crimes of Fascist Italy" to clarify the scope. --Amble (talk) 05:00, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Criteria for war crimes articles[edit]

Please comment here Talk:Japanese_war_crimes#Asian_Holocaust.2C_July_2008--Stor stark7 Speak 17:00, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Removal of most of article[edit]

Per WP:BURDEN, "[one] may remove any material lacking a reliable source that directly supports it". It notes that editors may disagree if time has been not allotted for finding such references; however, "per our rules it's not acceptable to simply blank sections" (User Catgut) is simply incorrect. Normally I would make such allowances, but there are several factors that meant I favoured the delete-and-discuss-if-readding-is-wanted approach:

  • The article has been in this state for at least a year, it is not under construction, or in a transition phase;
  • As noted above, there are no inline sources provided at all, although there are general references, rather than poor ones;
  • The article is on an incredibly controversial subject. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a more controversial article than one covering allegations of the deliberate killings of thousands of people and their coverup;
  • The considerable other problems with the article. The incidents were not covered in an encyclopedic fashion, instead featured wild POV statements "resulting in a total annihilation of the human and animal inhabitants of the area" and what I imagine is a one-sided approach. The article also makes extraordinary claims against the Italian government, which whilst perhaps true (truth is not important), require much greater care. Indeed sections (eg. "Though neither the Italian...") may be inappropriate even when referenced.

This all combined to create an article that was grossly in contradiction of Wikipedia's values and policies, breaking in all probability two of the five pillars, and in danger of defamation as well. I therefore defend my deletion. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:36, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I've made some suggestions in the following sections. I've made sure to use what I believe are very reliable and objective sources, including work done by Italian experts on the issue.

Justice and Reason (talk) 15:58, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

I am agree with Justice, the material confirm what written...I do not understand why Grandiose try to deny the italian war crimes. The article should not be removed — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Please acquaint yourself with our core content policies, particularly verifiability: "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. You may remove any material lacking a reliable source that directly supports it". Completely unsourced in terms of inline verification. There should be no exception in this case. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 19:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that the citations proposed by Justice confirm what he wrote. I also would like to underline another thing: despite what you italian war crimes are NOT controversial. There are so many sources on this topic that nobody can say it is something controversial. Italian war crimes are important like german, russian or japanese war crimes — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Report of the Slovene-Italian historical and cultural commission[edit]

There is a report called Slovene-Italian Relations 1880-1956 - Report of the Slovene-Italian historical and cultural commission, and I link to it here:

There are 3 versions of the report: in Italian, Slovene and English. The report was finished in 2000. It is a highly objective report, written by both Slovene and Italian experts. The findings of the research done for the report were accepted by the commission unanimously.

I have read this report and I think it can be very useful for the purposes of this Wikipedia article.

Justice and Reason (talk) 00:42, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Attempts at reconciliation[edit]

Also of note are the relatively recent meetings between the Italian President Napolitano and Slovene and Croatian officials, with which they attempted to make steps towards conciliation. Here is some information about the first one, which took place in Trieste:

And here is information from a later meeting of Napolitano and Josipović in Croatia:

Crimes in Ethiopia and Libya, and Fascist Legacy documentary[edit]

Here are some starting points as far as the crimes committed in Ethiopia and Libya are concerned.

Some useful links:

For Ethiopia:

And Libya:

And here is a quality documentary on Fascist crimes:

Here's the beginning of the documentary, with English dubs:

Justice and Reason (talk) 00:43, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


  • Lidia Santarelli: "Muted violence: Italian war crimes in occupied Greece", Journal of Modern Italian Studies, September 2004, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 280–299(20); Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group [6]
  • Effie G.H. Pedaliu: "Britain and the ‘Hand-Over’ of Italian War Criminals to Yugoslavia, 1945–48", Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 39, No. 4, 503-529 (2004)[7]
  • Pietro Brignoli: Santa messa per i miei fucilati, Longanesi & C., Milano, 1973 [8]
  • H. James Burgwyn: "General Roatta's war against the partisans in Yugoslavia: 1942", Journal of Modern Italian Studies, September 2004, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 314–329(16) [9]
  • Gianni Oliva: 'Si ammazza troppo poco'. I crimini di guerra italiani 1940-43. ('There are to few killings'. Italian war crimes 1940-43, Mondadori, 2006, ISBN 88-04-55129-1
  • Alessandra Kersevan: "Un campo di concentramento fascista. Gonars 1942-1943", Comune di Gonars e Ed. Kappa Vu, 2003
  • Alexxandra Kersevan: Lager italiani. Pulizia etnica e campi di concentramento fascisti per civili jugoslavi 1941-1943. Editore Nutrimenti, 2008
  • Slovene-Italian Historical and Cultural Commission [10]

Category:Italian war crimes Category:War crimes committed by country

de:Italienische Kriegsverbrechen in Afrika it:Crimini di guerra italiani sl:Italijanski vojni zločini

Justice and Reason (talk) 00:44, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

For anyone who speaks Italian[edit]

Here is a relevant site dealing with crimes committed by Italy:

It can be useful for this Wikipedia article.

Justice and Reason (talk) 00:44, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Comments on the above[edit]

It's one huge copyright violation as far as I am aware. You cannot copy things wholesale from another website. They have to be properly referenced, and constructed without close paraphrasing where possible. Also, you should consult the Manual of Style on formatting it properly (guideline). Consider also policy on self-published sources and Primary sources - in short, both should be avoided except in particular circumstances. For these reasons addition stands as currently inappropriate. Instead of posting the draft here, have you considered becoming autoconfirmed and creating it in userspace? Reading other articles will help you draft this one. Also, keep neutral point of view in mind - one independent of nationality, race, or other grounds. To that extent, it is verifiability not truth that is important. Thanks, Grandiose (me, talk, contribs)

Thanks for the advice. I will remove the draft for the time being.

As far as the neutral point of view and verifiability is concerned:

1.For the part on Yugoslavia, I mostly used the report of the Slovene-Italian Historical Commission. It was set up in 1993 by the governments of Slovenia and Italy, with the purpose of clarifying and resolving problematic issues. The commission included experts from both countries who worked for 7 years on the topic. They had several meetings, and eventually reached a unanimous decision on the common findings of the report. I think that's about as neutral and reliable as it gets.

2.As for Ethiopia (and a bit for Libya), I used a BBC documentary in which, among others, two Italian professors who are experts on the subject were interviewed. Various state archives were used for the making of the documentary as well.

Justice and Reason (talk) 19:13, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


Nor content neither title of article meet the criteria for SYNTH as claimed in this edit by Joy [shallot] (talk)

In: A1 (war crimes in Ethiopia) and A2 (in Greece) and A3 (in Slovenia), therefore a series of Crimes exist, the conclusion C is not synthesised from "A"s, but is itself independently sourced. See Effie Pedaliu (2004): Britain and the ‘Hand-Over’ of Italian War Criminals to Yugoslavia, 1945–48, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 39, No. 4, 503-529 ( preview) — Preceding unsigned comment added by DancingPhilosopher (talkcontribs) 3 April 2012

Who posted this? Since there is neither a User ID nor an IP addy, I'm thinking the poster has been blocked/deleted? HammerFilmFan (talk) 16:01, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Fixed signature, and heading. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 17:46, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
As I wrote in March, this needs to be reworked per period/administration, to avoid WP:SYNTH and generalized title. There are Italian war crimes in this war, that war, that other period, etc. Describing the World War II right in the lead section under such an overly broad title may lead the reader to believe that there is such a thing as an "Italian war crime", as a notion in and of itself, which there isn't. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 17:48, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Fixed now. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 17:56, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

as it stands, this article is CRAP - and that's being kind[edit]

Full of Synth, and OR - very, VERY poorly cited, bad grammar, major violations of NPOV. The whole thing needs a rewrite, as this is an important topic, and shouldn't be reduced to writing such as exists right now in the lead - good grief. HammerFilmFan (talk) 16:05, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe someone should just translate the Italian version from the Italian Wikipedia:

Unfortunately, I don't know Italian so I can't do it. I also see it's been tagged NPOV but I don't know why, of course. Any Italian speakers here?

Justice and Reason (talk) 00:05, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I recommend this for inclusion[edit]

As far as crimes against Slovenes are concerned, I think that parts of the 'Report of the Slovene-Italian historical and cultural commission' should be included:

For example, this could be included, in one way or another, in a summarized way:

"2. The destruction of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was accompanied not only by the fragmentation of the state, but also of Slovenia: a nation of one and a half million people, which was divided among Germany, Italy and Hungary, and which was under threat of becoming extinct, therefore Slovenes decided to fight against the occupying forces.

Italy's attack on Yugoslavia was the peak of the long-term fascist and imperialist policy directed at the Balkans and the Danube Basin. Contrary to the provision of military law, which does not allow for annexation of a territory occupied by military force before a peace treaty has been signed, Italy annexed the Ljubljana Province to the Monarchy. About 350,000 inhabitants of the Ljubljana Province were granted national and cultural autonomy by a statute; however the occupying forces were determined to achieve fast integration of the country into the Italian fascist system and to subordinate its institutions and organisations to their Italian counterparts. Influenced by the political, cultural and economic attraction of Italy, the local population were to be gradually made fascist and italianised. At first, the fascist occupier was confident that Slovenes would be subjugated by the supposed superiority of Italian culture, therefore the Italian occupation policy was milder at the beginning.

At first, Slovenes saw a lesser evil in the Italian occupation regime compared to Nazism, therefore some political forces collaborated with Italians, although they did not welcome Fascism. After initial uncertainty, the majority of Slovenes trusted in the victory of the Allied Forces and saw the future of the Slovene nation in the anti-fascist coalition camp. Furthermore, two basic strategic views had been formed among the Slovene political factors. The first was a demand for immediate resistance against the occupier, advocated by the Liberation Front. The latter formed the first partisan units and started with military operations against the occupying forces. The response of the liberation movement to the Italian plans for cultural cooperation was "cultural silence". Members of all social classes regardless of their political and ideological beliefs joined the Liberation Front. Another option was entertained by the representatives of liberal and conservative parties, who directed Slovenes towards gradual illegal preparations for liberation and the settlement of accounts with the occupier at the end of the war. It is certain that the Liberation Front and the opposing camp headed by the London-based royal emigrant government had the common goal of establishing a United Slovenia, which was to include, within the scope of the Yugoslav federation, all regions which were considered to be Slovene.

3. As a response to the increasing success of partisan fighting and strong opposition of the population against the occupier, Mussolini transferred competence from civilian authorities to military commands, so that the latter could introduce brutal repression. The occupation regime was based on violence expressed by various prohibitions, deportations to, confinement and internment in many camps all over Italy (Rab, Gonars and Renicci), in proceedings before military courts, confiscation and destruction of property, burning down of homes and villages. There were thousands of dead: fallen in battle, sentenced to death, shot as hostages, killed as civilians. About 30,000 people, mostly civilians, women and children, were deported to concentration camps. Many of them died of suffering. Plans were made for a mass deportation of Slovenes from the Ljubljana Province. The violence reached its peak during the four-month Italian military offensive launched by the Italian occupying forces in the summer of 1942 in order to regain control over the entire province.

In the spirit of the "divide and rule" policy, the Italian authorities supported the Slovene anti-Communist forces, in particular Catholic political forces, which at that time, out of fear from a communist revolution, considered the partisan movement to be a greater threat and thus agreed to collaborate. As a result, MVAC ("village guards") were formed, which were organised by Italian commands into voluntary anti-Communist militia and engaged successfully in the fight against the partisans, although they were not trusted completely by Italians.

4. The struggle for liberation soon spread from the Ljubljana Province among the Slovene population on the Littoral, who had lived under Italian rule for a quarter of a century. Thus, the issue of national affiliation of the greater part of this territory was reopened, revealing not only the total inefficiency of the fascist regime policy towards Slovenes, but also the general defeat of Italian policy on the eastern border. Already at the beginning of the war, the authorities had adopted a series of precautionary measures against the Slovene population on the Littoral: internment and confinement of leading personalities, mobilisation of national conscripts in special battalions, removal of population along the borders, death sentences, pronounced by a special tribunal for the protection of the state at the Second Trieste Trials.

The liberation struggle headed by the Communist Party was welcomed in particular by the Slovenes from the Littoral, since it accepted their insistent national claims for uniting with Yugoslavia the entire territory populated by Slovenes, including the towns populated mostly by Italians. Thus, the Communist Party of Slovenia secured the leading role in the mass movement and, due to armed struggle, also the chance to carry out both national liberation and social revolution.

In suppressing the liberation movement, the Italian authorities used similar repressive methods as in the Ljubljana Province, including burning down villages and shooting civilians. For this purpose, a Special Inspectorate for Public Safety and two new army corps of the Italian army were established. Thus, military operations also spread to the territory of the Italian state. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Justice and Reason (talkcontribs) 17:16, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Mussolini's crimes in Spain[edit]

I think the repeated bombings of Barcelona should be included under Mussolini's crimes. Thousands of civilians were killed. Pistolpierre (talk) 20:28, 23 November 2013 (UTC)