04 February 2010
In Italy, the application ‘iMussolini’ for Apple’s iPhone, which allowed users to download speeches by the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, has been withdrawn, following legal threats and protests by Jewish groups. Holocaust survivors had described its contents as offensive.
IMussolini had become the most popular iPhone download in Italy, but the half-hour-long collection of video and audio clips from 100 of Mussolini's speeches was withdrawn by its developer after a row with the institute which held the rights to the film material. The institute says the application was an aberration and did not serve the educational purposes for which the clips were destined to be used.
Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors had protested to the Apple computer company last week. The creator of the application, 25-year-old Luigi Marino, told reporters over the weekend that it had already been downloaded 6,000 times since its launch.
Fascist leader Benito Mussolini came to power in 1922. Under his rule, Italy became a close ally of Nazi Germany, and Mussolini's regime introduced harsh anti-Semitic legislation in 1938.
Tullia Zevi, the former president of the Jewish community in Rome, said the application was part of the "the slide towards legitimizing fascism and the rehabilitation of Mussolini".
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