Berlusconi defends Mussolini for backing Hitler
ROME - The Associated Press
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi. AP photoFormer Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says Benito Mussolini did much good despite his regime’s anti-Jewish laws.
Berlusconi also defended Mussolini for siding with Hitler, saying the late fascist leader likely reasoned that German power would expand so it would be better for Italy to ally itself with Germany.
He was speaking to reporters Sunday on the sidelines of a ceremony in Milan to commemorate the Holocaust.
When Germany’s Nazi regime occupied Italy during World War II, thousands from the tiny Italian Jewish community were deported to death camps. In 1938, before the war’s outbreak, Mussolini’s regime passed anti-Jewish laws, barring them from universities and many professions, among other bans.
Berlusconi called the laws Mussolini’s "worst fault" but insisted that in many other things "he did good."