Since Milan University was founded in 1924, two years after the beginning of the Mussolini government, the Institute of Physics had to deal with Fascism since its beginning. Almost all university professors did not act against the regime in a public way. The director of the Institute of Physics, Giovanni Polvani, and the other physicists working with him had all to be members of the Fascist National Party and sweared loyalty to the Fascist Regime. The main example of the opportunity to please the regime was the honorary degree in Physics and Mathematics awarded to marshal Pietro Badoglio. The application of the racial laws did not concern any person in the Institute of Physics; they however led to the suspension of a scholarship named after Aldo Pontremoli. The war caused problems to both educational and research activities, with the sudden suspension of the lectures during the bombings on Milan and the call to army of some researchers and students. After the armistice signed by Italy in September 1943, the occupation of northern and central Italy by the German troops and the establishment of the Italian Social Republic, the Institute of Physics had to face further problems. Polvani hid the most important instruments in several locations outside Milan to avoid them to be taken to Germany. The instruments from Pisa University were take to Milan by the Germans and given back after the end of the war. Furthermore, a partisan student, Jacopo Dentici, was arrested by a fascist autonomous legion, handed over to the Germans and sent to the Gusen II subfield of Mauthausen were he died.

The Institute of Physics During the Fascist Regime and the Second World War / L. Gariboldi (HISTORY OF PHYSICS). - In: The Milan Institute of Physics : A Research Institute from Fascism to the Reconstruction / L. Gariboldi, L. Bonolis, A. Testa. - [s.l] : Springer, 2022. - ISBN 978-3-030-99515-7. - pp. 117-151 [10.1007/978-3-030-99516-4_5]

The Institute of Physics During the Fascist Regime and the Second World War

L. Gariboldi
2022

Abstract

Since Milan University was founded in 1924, two years after the beginning of the Mussolini government, the Institute of Physics had to deal with Fascism since its beginning. Almost all university professors did not act against the regime in a public way. The director of the Institute of Physics, Giovanni Polvani, and the other physicists working with him had all to be members of the Fascist National Party and sweared loyalty to the Fascist Regime. The main example of the opportunity to please the regime was the honorary degree in Physics and Mathematics awarded to marshal Pietro Badoglio. The application of the racial laws did not concern any person in the Institute of Physics; they however led to the suspension of a scholarship named after Aldo Pontremoli. The war caused problems to both educational and research activities, with the sudden suspension of the lectures during the bombings on Milan and the call to army of some researchers and students. After the armistice signed by Italy in September 1943, the occupation of northern and central Italy by the German troops and the establishment of the Italian Social Republic, the Institute of Physics had to face further problems. Polvani hid the most important instruments in several locations outside Milan to avoid them to be taken to Germany. The instruments from Pisa University were take to Milan by the Germans and given back after the end of the war. Furthermore, a partisan student, Jacopo Dentici, was arrested by a fascist autonomous legion, handed over to the Germans and sent to the Gusen II subfield of Mauthausen were he died.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/933091
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