Saturday, January 6, 2024


Only a few of us remember that -before the "appearance" of Hitler and his racism inside 1938 Mussolini's Italy- within the italian fascist party was strong the influence of italian jews (in October 1933 there were 4920 Italian Jews who were members of the Italian Fascist Party, nearly 10% of all the Jews living in Italy -while the jews were less than 1% of the total Italian population).

This month I want to research the life of the most famous of these nearly 5000 jews who were members of the Italian fascism in the 1930s: Maurizio Rava, Governor of Italian Somalia from 1931 to 1935 and Brigadier-General of the Italian Army from March 1939 to January 1941.

The following are excerpts of what I wrote & got published in the wikipedia encyclopedia about Maurizio Rava (

1916 photo of Maurizio Rava in the Trentino front

Maurizio Rava (1878-1941) was a important Italian governor of Italian Somalia between 1931 and 1935. Before this activity, he worked as the fascist "Segretary" of Italian Tripolitania. He was also a famous writer and painter.


Maurizio Rava was born in 1878 to a Jewish family in Milan (Italy). He studied painting and started writing essays since he was a young student at a Milan Lyceum (Maurizio Rava graduated at the "Academy of Fine Arts of Rome"). Before WW1 he was a supporter of Italian nationalism and in 1919 he enrolled in the fascist party of Mussolini, creating with others the section of Roma and becoming one of his better collaborators.

However, in the Great War he was an Alpine complement Officer, who was wounded and decorated with a silver and two bronze medals. He was moved to Major and later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the reserve.

After personally participating in the 1922 "March on Rome", he was vice-secretary of the fascist party of Lazio in 1923.

With the support of the Libya's governor Emilio De Bono, between August 1927 and June 1931 he was in this italian colony, first as general secretary, then from October 1930 as deputy governor and, from December 1928, as federal secretary of the "Fasci in Tripolitania".

He attempted expansive projects in the Libya's internal areas, with settlements of new settlers and privileges for the large Italian agricultural companies with Italian labor (which, due to adaptability to the climate, he hoped from southern Italy); he pushed for a building development plan in Tripoli and attention to the construction quality of coastal cities; he also directed the local autonomous trade fair.

From July 1931 Rava became governor of the other traditional Italian colony, Somalia (more pacified than Libya, but emerged from tensions aroused by the repressive policy of the former governor Cesare Maria De Vecchi, only attenuated by his successor Guido Corni). He also had the role of federal secretary of Mogadishu from 22 August 1931 until 1935.

He followed a policy already started by his predecessor, aimed at economic ventures, settlements and public works that would make a colony with scarce resources more profitable (for further info, please read

In contact with the agricultural enterprises of the Duke of Abruzzi, Luigi Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta (who died on 18 March 1933 with Rava at his side), he developed the banana production in the Villabruzzi area; however, Rava fueled the monopoly of the concessionaires of banana cultivation, the main local production aimed at the italian homeland market, which it enriched some colonists, but burdened Italian consumers.

In 1931 one of his first governor acts was the complete abolition of slavery in all italian Somalia and the creation of schools for somalian native kids on the same level of Italian children.

In early 1935, Governor Maurizio Rava created the first system of postal service stations in Italian Somalia, that later was fully enlarged to all the "Italian East Africa".

Until the end of March 1935 Rava was the "Governor" of Italian Somalia. But in the late 1930s he faced problems within the party because of Nazi Germany's influences against Italian Jews. However he was always respected by the fascists.

After being nominated "senator" when returned to live in Italy, he was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1939 by the same Mussolini (even if he was a jew) and died in 1941 because of wounds received in Italian Libya, when was a general of brigade fighting the British.

In the last years of his life he was very close to Italo Balbo (the second in charge in fascist Italy after Mussolini and a strong critic of the nazi-laws anti-jews) and promoted some links with the Israeli Navy through the Betar Naval academy in Civitavecchia (that created some of the future commanders of the Israeli Navy).

His funeral in Rome was attended by many thousands of fascists (who rejected the racial laws imposed by Hitler) and got strong complains from the Nazi-Germany ambassador in Italy.

Links to Jabotinsky Revisionism

Indeed Rava was linked to Jabotinsky (the main leader of the "Zionist Revisionism") who promoted the "Betar" (youth organization of the Revisionism) and who did the 1931 Betar Conference where was decided to promote the so called "maritime idea" of the 'Rodegal association' (read in Italian

In this conference the captain Irmiyahu Helpern was allowed to create a jewish "group for maritime selfdefense", that was to be prepared in the Italian navy school of Civitavecchia (located near Rome)

Finally it is noteworthy to remember that until 1936 Fascist ideology was free of any element of anti-Semitism, and the party's membership rolls were open to Jews, who joined in roughly the same relative numbers as non-Jews. More than 200 Jews (like Maurizio Rava) participated in the 1922 march on Rome, which installed Mussolini in power.

Jews who achieved prominence under Fascism included Aldo Finzi, a member of the first Fascist Grand Council; Guido Jung, Minister of Finance from 1932 to 1935; and of course Maurizio Rava, Governor of Italian Somaliland and a general in the Fascist militia.