TRIESTE, Italy (Sep. 18)
Premier Benito Mussolini told a crowd of 200,000 here today that the world would be amazed by the generosity, more than by the severity of the Fascist policy on the Jews, unless the Jews abroad and in Italy, as well as those defending them, compelled the government to change its course radically.
Internal policy is dominated by the racial problem, which has not arisen suddenly, but is connected with the conquest of the empire, the Italian dictator declared in his first public pronouncement on his government’s new racial policy.
“History teaches that empires are conquered by arms but are maintained by prestige, which requires racial consciousness and the establishing not only of differences but of clear cut superiorities,” he said. “The Jewish problem is one aspect of this phenomenon, the Italian position resulting from the fact that Jewry, despite Italy’s policy, has been implacably the enemy of fascism for sixteen years.”
Premier Mussolini said that Italian Jews with indisputable military and civil merits for the regime would find understanding and justice, while a policy of segregation would be applied to others.
He again scorned the charge that in introducing a racial policy directed against the Jews Italy was simply imitating Germany or following Germany’s instructions. Such notions rated only “our scorn or pity,” he said. Italy’s new racial program was not the sudden thing it appeared to be but was a logical outgrowth of Italy’s imperial development. This portion of his speech was heard with special interest here for Trieste is one of the largest centers of Jewish population in Italy.