German and Italian fascist armies in the Second World War treated the Jews quite differently. Jews who fell into the hands of the German army ended up in concentration camps; none of those taken by the Italians suffered the same fate. Yet the protectors of the Jews were no philo-Semites, nor were they (often) great respecters of human life. Some of those same officers had sanctioned savage atrocities against Ethiopians and Arabs in the years before the war. Jonathan Steinberg uses this remarkable and poignant story to unravel the motives and forces underpinning both Fascism and Nazism. As a renowned historian of both Germany and Italy, he is uniquely placed to answer the underlying question; why?
`… a fine book [on] one of the most compelling but least explained chapters in the history of the Holocaust … marked by careful research and thoughtful analysis' - Times Literary Supplement