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Title: Axis police forces : collaboration and transnational interactions between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany (1936-1943)
Authors: Murro, Alberto
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This research examines the relationships between the police forces of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany from the second half of the 1930s until the Italian armistice in September 1943. By investigating these police interactions, it aims to contribute to our understanding of the broader relationships and cooperation between the Axis powers. The early contacts between the two fascist regimes were not as effective and successful as their ideological and political affinity might suggest. Police interactions and mediation contributed to a general rapprochement that started in 1935 and eventually culminated in the announcement of the Berlin-Rome Axis in November 1936. The Italian interior ministry’s police and the Gestapo started a collaboration in the spring of 1936. It was based on a secret protocol directed against political subversion and was reinforced in the following months through the exchange of liaison officers and of visits. Drawing on a transnational approach, this work explores the development of these bilateral partnerships and shows that their scope and targets expanded over the years, especially after the outbreak of the Second World War. During the conflict, the two police forces implemented increasingly radical policies and intensified their cooperation, which also affected the territories occupied by the Axis powers. Furthermore, their partnership assumed clear diplomatic implications and was constantly monitored by the foreign offices and by Mussolini himself. They recognised the value of police ties and of the strong bond established by the two police chiefs, Arturo Bocchini and Heinrich Himmler, to strengthen the broader connections between the regimes and to evade diplomatic impasses and tensions. This sheds light on the fact that police interactions and exchanges were not just means to counter political dissent and opposition, but they were also diplomatic tools in the hands of the two regimes and means to exert influence and authority abroad.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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