Gambling and the 20th century Rulers Part2.
Adolph Hitler (Schicklgruber) was born on the 20th of April, 1889, in a small town of Braunau on the border of Austria and Germany. The phenomenon of Hitler is still under study by historians and politicians but there are still a lot more questions than answers to them.
Really, political feeling, iron will, rare talent of an orator-demagogue, finally, need on the part of the hosts of Germany – all this helped him make himself a breath-taking career. Starting with a might-have-been artist and resigned soldier of the First World War to Fuhrer of the Third Reich and organizer of Holocaust. The history testifies that the bloodiest tyrant of the 20th century was an extremely venturesome gambler, but like Lenin, only in politics. Though Hitler was more loyal to gambling industry than a lot more of his other companions-in-arms.
In Fascist Germany officer casinos were very popular. However, a few people know that in those casinos people did not play but simply had a rest from everyday military fuss. There was a bar, billiards, music in casinos – a close club for officers in a way. Access to such establishments for outsiders was forbidden, and if officers played cards, then only for each other's money – it was forbidden to organize games and gain profit for them.
Hitler was a frequent visitor of such casinos, moreover, during the war on the occupied territories, it was he who allowed arranging casinos for a rest, in which officers of the German army usually played different card games. In such entertainment establishments the most beautiful girls of the captured towns and villages “worked”.
When Adolph came to power in 1933 there were already no gambling-houses in the country. All of them were closed down still in 1872 under the Kaiser Wilhelm I. One of the first decrees in addition to the law about special authority entrusting Adolph Hitler with unrestricted power in the country, was the decree about permission, as exclusion, of operation on the territory of Germany of the most famous casino in Baden-Baden. It happened in many aspects due to the fact that the country urgently needed money, and Hitler marked for himself that Germans had better lost their money in Germany than in neutral Switzerland. A little later, in particular in 1938, when Germany captured Austria and German legislation started to be legal on its territory prohibiting activities on organization of games and bets, casinos were closed there as well. However, there was an exclusion made for one gambling-house situated in the town of Baden, 26 kilometers from Vienna.
On the 30th of April Hitler committed suicide like a real "keen player" of boulevard novels, having lost all his wealth, and at night, on the 9th of May, 1945, in Berlin complete and unconditional surrender of Fascist Germany was signed. Where do you think it took place? In the capital district of Karlshorst in the building of the previous officer casino…
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was born on the 29th of July, 1883, in a small Italian town of Dovia. The most well-known Italian statesman of the 20th century, chief (duche) of the Fascist party of Italy. Having realized “a crusade to Rome” on the 28th of October, 1922, Mussolini captured power in the country and on the 1st of November, 1922, headed the government of Italy.
Mussolini was a rather venturesome person, but preferred political games and wanted to play them only in accordance with the rules invented by him personally. These rules were quite cruel, and those who refused to follow them, Mussolini threw away as not wanted from his life. Similarly to Adolph Hitler, his main virtue which helped him to achieve self-actualization on the arena of politics, were his oratorical abilities, charisma and skills to show himself to the audience. Alas, unfortunately for Italians of those years, great Duche produced his endorphins not at the card table, but in constant unrestrained desire to possess absolute power over everything and everybody.
Having come to power, the first thing of Mussolini to do was to take under control, exile and subject to repressions leaders of the opposition.
The founder of Italian fascism had a rather negative attitude towards gambling industry. On the 16th of July, 1923, Mussolini banned gambling games in Italy except for lotteries.
In 1926 Mussolini destroyed the remnants of opposition: there were laws adopted according to which all the political parties, except for the fascist one, were banned and dissolved.
However, Mussolini was a far-sighted politician and understood rather well that Italians could not do without gambling games, they would surely get to them – they would go to France, Monaco or Switzerland. He was aware that prohibition of games had a negative impact not only on his personal popularity, as well as on the well-being of the “weak” national economy.
Mussolini made a significant for gambling industry decision. Henceforth casinos were to “cover” the borders of the Italian state hindering from export of monetary resources abroad. In 1927 gamble was officially allowed in in San-Remo. Casino was made the property of municipality of San-Remo, and its management was only carried out by the most loyal to the dictator people.
Italian authorities behaved very consistently and decisively, having allowed organizing of only one casino, they refused to any other requests about a possibility of organization of gambling-houses.
Mussolini declared that gambling industry in Italy was prohibited, existence of a casino in San-Remo was an exclusion which was presupposed by serious political and economic factors, however, the given exclusion only confirmed the general rule. The intention of the dictator was to turn the town of San-Remo into another Monte Carlo, but the dream never came true.
Despite his declaration on prohibition of opening of new casinos, Mussolini changed his decision to some extent as the time went by. During his rule two more casinos appeared. In 1933 there was opened a gambling-house in the Italian enclave Campion created still in 1917. And in 1937 gambling was allowed in Venice. All the casinos belonged to the municipalities of the corresponding towns. Games were only stopped there during the Second World War.
In 1943 previous associates foreseeing the military collapse of Italy, “put” Mussolini on the retired list. However, he didn’t give in, and as a most venturesome gambler tried to win back with Hitler’s help, still being the head of the fascist puppet government in the town of Salo for some time. However, the system he had been building for 20 years, fell apart within a few months. Cliché of a gambler let him down at that moment. Mussolini didn’t bring himself to put a pistol to head. In 1945 he was captured by Italian partisans and executed, and after a year, in 1946, gambling industry returned to Italy again, and casinos opened their doors which Mussolini was no longer able to enter.
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Gambling and the 20th century Rulers Part2