Angelo Del Boca, “La scelta” (“The choice”), 1963

The following is an extract from “La scelta” (“The choice”), a collection of short stories published by partisan, author and historian Angelo Del Boca (link to Wiki) in 1963.

You were born in 1915; in 1931 you were given a Balilla uniform to wear; in 1935 you were promoted to Balilla-musketeer; in 1939, you became an Avanguardista. For two years, sitting in your classroom, you’ve been writing as a dictation the bulletins from the Abyssinia war. […] You’ve believed in Mussolini’s genius, in the miracles autarchy would bring about, in the Imperial destiny of the Italian race. […]
One day, towards the end of summer in 1943, your whole universe fell to pieces, and all that was left of fascism were a few writings on walls. That was the time to draw a conclusion, and make a choice. But you were not up to it, and you let yourself go with the tide. But because you’re not superficial, you carried your doubts with you, and kept nurturing them. […]
Yet a few things are still holding you back: an ill-directed patriotism, the fear of those you were taught to call ‘subversives’ by fascism, the idea that fascism, had it not entered the war, would have survived, and turned more liberal. Because, you say, Mussolini was a socialist, in the beginning.
But this is your mistake: fascism is violence, and nothing else. It is an authoritarian, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-working class regime and, like all regimes of its kind, cannot concede a single freedom without risking collapse. It has ruled by terror, and will end in terror, after a civil war of its making.
I have to laugh when I hear Greco say the Italian Social Republic is fighting to defend Italy’s honour. That’s merely an excuse to repress antifascism, which is represented today by the partisans”.