Original WWII Italian Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (GIL) Italian Youth of the Lictor Fez - By Gondar
Original Item: Only One Available. This excellent condition fez features a gold and silver fascist GIL symbol to the front which has retained all of its original color. The top of the cap, on the silk type lining, features the lovely manufacturer’s “Crown” stamp with the name “GONDAR” encircled .
There are signs of moderate wear with partial detach from the lining as well as a section of the sweatband completely separated from the rest. There are no size stamps or any other markings visible, but we measured it and the approximate size is 56cm.
This is a wonderful example and in great condition. These are becoming more difficult to find and you do not want to miss your chance on this one.
Comes more than ready for display!
Gioventù Italiana del Littorio
The Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (GIL) (Italian Youth of the Lictor) was the consolidated youth movement of the National Fascist Party of Italy that was established in 1937, to replace the Opera N Balilla (ONB). It was created to supervise and influence the minds of all youths, and was effectively directed against the influence of the Catholic Church on youths.
The organization surpassed its purpose as a cultural institution that was intended to serve as the ideological counterpart of school, and served as a paramilitary group (training for future assignments in the Italian Army), as well as education in the career of choice, technology (including post school courses for legal adults), or education related to home and family (solely for the girls). It carried out indoctrination with a message of Italian-ness and Fascism, training youths as "the fascists of tomorrow".
Moreover, the GIL took charge of all activities initiated by schools, and pressured teachers to enlist all students. Aside from the usual "Fascist Saturdays", children would spend their summers in camps (which included the national-level Campi Dux, reunions of Balilla and Avanguardisti).
Male children enrolled wore a uniform adapted from that of the Blackshirts: the eponymous black shirt, the fez of Arditi tradition, gray-green trousers, black fasces emblems, and azure handkerchiefs (i.e.: in the national color of Italy). During military exercises, they were armed with a scaled-down version of the Royal Italian Army service rifle, Moschetto Balilla (the rifles were replaced with replica versions for the Figli della Lupa).
When Italy entered World War II, members of the GIL who were above the age of eighteen were called up to fight in the Royal Army of Italy but in 1943 after a string of defeats in The Eastern Front, Operation Torch and the Invasion of Sicily. Boys who were sixteen and over were called up to fight until the Armistice of Cassibile was signed. However, boys and girls of the GIL found themselves picking sides. Some served in the Italian Co-Belligerent Army, the National Republican Army or the Italian Resistance Movement after German troops marched into Italy and disarmed Italian troops, who refused to continue fighting and established the Italian Socialist Republic.
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