Monday, 12th October 1936
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, 27th Prime Minister of Italy, signed an alliance commonly known as the Roman-Berlin Axis.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia.
The relationship between Mussolini and Adolf Hitler was a contentious one. While Hitler cited Mussolini as an influence and expressed privately great admiration for him, Mussolini had little regard for Hitler, especially after the Nazis had assassinated his friend and ally, Engelbert Dollfuss the Austrofascist dictator of Austria in 1934.
With the assassination of Dollfuss, Mussolini attempted to distance himself from Hitler by rejecting much of the racialism (particularly Nordicism and Germanicism) and anti-Semitism espoused by the German radical. Mussolini during this period rejected biological racism, at least in the Nazi sense, and instead emphasized "Italianizing" the parts of the Italian Empire he had desired to build. He declared that the ideas of Eugenics and the racially charged concept of an Aryan nation were not possible.
Mussolini was particularly sensitive to German accusations that the Italians were a mongrelized race. He retaliated by mockingly referring to the Germans' own lack of racial purity on several occasions.