Taken by Hitler's wife, Eva Braun in June 1940, this photograph pictures Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler during the Italian dictator's visit to Munich.



The 23rd March has particular significance for the history of Fascism, marking the anniversary of two crucial moments in the rise to power of two of its most notorious advocates, Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany.

On 23rd March 1919, during a rally held at Piazza San Sepolcro, Mussolini founded the Italian Fascist Movement in Milan, transforming the paramilitary Fasci di Combattimento into an established political group. The group would eventually be transformed into the National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista) in 1921. Although no formal manifesto was adopted during the March rally, on 6th June 1919 a document was published in Mussolini's newspaper Il Popolo d'Italia which outlined the central tenets of the group, its demands and its objectives in social, economic, political and military arenas.

15 years later, on 23rd March 1933, following the Reichstag fire of February 27th, the Enabling Act, or Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich (Ermächtigungsgesetz, or Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich), was ammended to allow Chancellor Adolf Hitler to enact laws without consulting the Reichstag. In doing so, this Act gave Hitler plenary powers, effectively ended democracy in Germany and facilitated his rise to Führer on the death of President Hindenburg on 2nd August 1934.

The original image can be viewed here.