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The professors in and after the fascist regime. The purges in the universities of Italy (1944-46)

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This essay deals with the policies implemented in the aftermath of the Second World War by the new government and academic authorities toward university professors involved, rightly or wrongly, with the fascist regime. It also deals with the strategies adopted by these professors and the opportunities offered to them by the institutions in order to make a dignified break with the past and therefore to reposition themselves advantageously in the new social configuration of the postwar years. The starting point of the essay is the proceedings of the purge commissions, which required university professors to defend not only their individual behavior and acts, but rather a long series of decisions, which led them to assume certain positions and opinions. The essay suggests that during the fascist regime universities were able to preserve a good deal of independence, identity and autonomy and that the purge was an experience that acted in depth upon the living flesh of a group people torn between the obligation to repudiate their past experience and the necessity to find a new position in the Republican era.
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Keywords: Fascism; postwar period; professors; purge; university

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universita di Napoli 'Federico II',

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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