This article investigates how Fascists qualified as belonging to the “Jewish race” reacted to the proclamation of the “Laws for the Defence of the Race” and, in particular, how they tried to take advantage of the special legal treatment called “discrimination”, that allowed them to avoid some of the effects of the anti-Semitic legislation. In fact, together with its persecutory measures, the Royal Decree of November 17, 1938, granted some slight dispensations to “Jewish” Italian citizens who could prove to have special merits in the military, political or economic spheres. Drawing on a sample of Milanese Jews’ personal dossiers submitted to the General Directorate for Demography and Race in 1938-1939, this article analyses the self-portrayals strategically devised by those who declared themselves Fascists, in order to illustrate the ‘good Fascist’ reference profiles they crafted and, indirectly, the varying conceptions of Fascism and Nation which had been at the basis of their closeness to the regime.

issue 11 / October 2017 by Enrica Asquer