Samstag, April 02, 2005


Fascism builds up a higher life, founded on duty, [snip] in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists.... by the exercise of his free will, man can and must create his own world.... Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action, it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him.... which man subjugates nature and creates the human world (economic, political, ethical, and intellectual).Therefore life, as conceived of by the Fascist, is serious, austere, and religious.... The Fascist disdains an "easy" life.... The Fascist conception of life is a religious one.... Fascism is not only a system of government but also and above all a system of thought.
Benito Mussolini:
The Doctrine of Fascism, 1932

Von Gloeden's collection of over three thousand glass plate negatives were left to his long time friend and model Pancrazio Bucini, who became caretaker of the Baron's estimated three thousand glass plate negatives. When Mussolini's Fascists entered Taormina in 1936, under provisions set forth in the "alliance" Bucini was accused of "keeping pornography" and a fascist raid on von Gloeden's archives destroyed or damaged more than half his negatives, all of which were impounded by the government. A subsequent trial acquitted the estate of pornography charges but the glass plates were not returned until after World War II. By then only a few hundred remained intact, the balance were either shattered or damaged beyond use. Very few of the plates survived; several hundred are still preserved by Bucini's own heirs in Taormina today. Most of what we know of the Baron's work has come to us from the collections of his admirers. Repressive church doctrines continued to influence the suppression of von Gloeden's work until the late sixties and early seventies when a new appreciation of photography and weakened Vatican influence led to a rediscovery of his work.