The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Talk - The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy's National Shame

Ian Campbell

Wednesday 1st November 2017

6:30pm to 8:00pm, Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP - Free Event (all welcome)

In February 1937, Italy’s occupying forces murdered 19,000 Ethiopians. In a brilliant piece of forensic historical reconstruction, Ian Campbell rescues from obscurity this episode of Fascist mass extermination. Ian is over from Ethiopia to promote his new book, The Addis Ababa Massacre, which has been published by Hurst. Meet the author and hear him talk about his findings.

Following an abortive attack by a handful of insurgents on Mussolini’s High Command in Italian-occupied Ethiopia, ‘repression squads’ of armed Blackshirts and Fascist civilians were unleashed on the defenceless residents of Addis Ababa. In three terror-filled days and nights of arson, murder and looting, thousands of innocent and unsuspecting men, women and children were roasted alive, shot, bludgeoned, stabbed to death, or blown to pieces with hand-grenades. Meanwhile the notorious Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, infamous for his atrocities in Libya, took the opportunity to add to the carnage by eliminating the intelligentsia and nobility of the ancient Ethiopian empire in a pogrom that swept across the land.

In a richly illustrated and groundbreaking work backed up by meticulous scholarly research, Ian reconstructs and analyses one of Fascist Italy’s least known atrocities, which he estimates eliminated 19-20 per cent of the capital’s population. He exposes the hitherto little-known cover-up conducted at the highest levels of the British government, which enabled the facts of one of the most hideous civilian massacres of all time to be concealed, and the perpetrators to walk free.

Ian Campbell, a development consultant specialising in East Africa, has been studying and writing about Ethiopia since 1988. The author of several scholarly papers on various aspects of Ethiopian cultural history, his works on the Italian occupation (1936-41) include The Plot to Kill Graziani and The Massacre of Debre Libanos.

Tickets to the event are free but capacity at the venue is limited, so please reserve your place soon to avoid disappointment.

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