American historian Michael Ledeen in his book "D’Annunzio: The First Duce" demonstrated that it was precisely Rijeka under D’Annunzio’s direction that served as the training ground for all subsequently defined forms of totalitarian fascist regimes, one of which was introduced in Italy by the next duce, Benito Mussolini, after the march on Rome in 1922.
Rijeka, to express ourselves in D’Annunzio’s style, as the "cittá olocausta" (martyr city), became the first victim of political manipulation of the masses and nationalist extremism. His act of brutally seizing Rijeka on behalf of the exclusive right of the Italian nation halted “the flowing city” in its diversity and indirectly sparked repercussions like a butterfly effect.
Author: dr.sc. Tea Perinčić, Publisher: Val Publishing House Rijeka; Co-publishers: Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka i ECC Rijeka 2020. Print: Znanje Zagreb, page 220, ilustr. 97
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