National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Artefact of the Month: WW2 Italian Fascist Mothers Medal

Artefact of the Month: WW2 Italian Fascist Mothers Medal

Friday, June 1st, 2018

A World War II Italian Fascist Mothers Medal is June’s Artefact of the Month.

1990.161. WWII Italian Fascist Mothers Medal. National Army Museum, Te Mata Toa.

Established on March 3rd 1939, during the regime of Benito Mussolini and his ‘Economic Battles‘, this medal was used as a form of public recognition for mothers who bore 5 children, with a single bow added to the ribbon for every extra child she had.  

1990.161. WWII Italian Fascist Mothers Medal. National Army Museum, Te Mata Toa.

1990.161. WWII Italian Fascist Mothers Medal. National Army Museum, Te Mata Toa.

Cast from aluminium and attached to a green and blue ribbon, this medal was made specifically for Mussolini’s ‘Battle for Births‘ campaign.

Battle for Births

Established in 1927, ‘Battle for Births‘ was a demographic campaign aimed at increasing the Italian population from 40 million in 1927 to 60 million by 1950. 

In order to make this idea more appealing to the public, pre-marital loans were offered to couples to pay for their weddings in order to encourage them to marry. On top of this, each new child they produced was used as commodity to cancel out part of said marital loan. Married men with 6+ children also became exempt from taxation, and were more likely to receive promotions within work, over their single, childless co-workers. For women, they received the Mothers Medal as public recognition for their contribution to the scheme if they produced more than the state’s target of 5 children per family. 

 

 

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