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New International, November 1938


The Deserters and Munich

From New International, Vol.4 No.11, November 1938, p.334.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


THE FRENCH syndicalist review, La Révolution Prolétarienne (Oct. 10, 1938) prints the following interesting news, which has not appeared anywhere else to our knowledge, and which we publish for the information of our readers:

From the information that we now have on the conference at Munich and especially from the speech of Chamberlain, it appears that it is Mussolini who, by taking the initiative in proposing different conditions from those contained in the memorandum of Hitler, made it possible for the conference to take place and to reach a conclusion; it is he who “saved the peace”.

;Why did he do it?

On September 6, during the first days of the “diplomatic tension”, a company of Italian bersaglieri crossed the French frontier in the region of St.-Martin-Vésubie (Maritime Alps) with arms and baggage, their officers at the head and mule-packs at the end, to surrender to the French authorities.

The fact was denied, the following day, by the semi-official newspaper of the Prefecture [police], the Petit-Niçois, but too many people saw the Italian soldiers in the streets of Nice and in the courtyard of the barracks for the thing not to be certain.

During the weeks that followed, the desertions of this sort multiplied, increasing, according to the information supplied by comrades living on the spot, to several thousands of Italian soldiers on the frontier of Savoy. The French government holds all the newspaper and information services so tightly in its hands that nothing was published about this.

But Mussolini did know about it And that is why we can understand why he did not want war.

The Italian deserters prevented, in September, the European war, like the Russian deserters prevented, in August, the Russo-Japanese war.

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