Don Rossaro and the regime.

Don Rossaro and the regime. For more than ten years the Bell of the Fallen, placed on the castle bastion, was a unique "living monument" which gained enormous success, partly thanks to the skilful use of communication methods employed by the Bell's creator to spread the message via the mass culture promoted through the associations of the Fascist party, yet managing to remain independent of the regime and of his personal openness to Fascism. Don Rossaro sought to increase international awareness of his work in all possible ways, avoiding exploitation of the moment yet without ignoring its historical and political context. So when in August 1925 disputes arose with the Municipality, which wanted to take over the presidency of the Board for the inauguration celebrations on 4 October and to exclude certain "combatants" not liked by the Fascist party, the remaining members of the Board planned to resign to show their solidarity, but Don Rossaro asked them not to, otherwise, he wrote:

"the celebrations will fall into the hands of the Fascists and lose all their calm, spiritual character,

"the celebrations will fall into the hands of the Fascists and lose all their calm, spiritual character, required by the Bell of the Fallen which, rather than being a symbol of universal Peace, would become an instrument of petty political exploitation. The Bell itself would fall into the hands of the Fascists". This statement did not prevent him from writing a few years later (in 1932) that "the august Bell of the Fallen in Rovereto, the monument dreamed at the dawn of Fascism and with Fascist tenacity planned, desired and erected and governed by Fascist statute, proclaims to the world the eternal principles of Imperial Rome and, a herald of peace in its daily ritual, declares to all peoples the stark warning of Il Duce: pax in justitia".

Lastly, to conclude this brief digression into the relationship between Don Rossaro, the Bell and the Fascist regime, on 11 March 1939, when the Bell was being recast and there was the possibility of including some Fascist symbol on the new version, he wrote: "I have been amicably advised many times by friends to place the 'fascio' (emblem of Fascism) in a prominent position on the Bell; a group of Fascists was suggested to replace the eagles; others advised a pattern of fasces lictoriae on the lower section of the Bell; still others the Christ and the Madonna with a tasteful design between two fasces.

No! The Bell of the Fallen, while eternally grateful to Fascism, cannot, must not and does not wish to be Fascist..."

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