What was life like in Italian occupied territory such as France, North Africa, and the Balkans?

Italy had occupied territory in southern France, Yugoslavia, Greece, and in North Africa. What was life like in these territories? Did the Italian occupation differ from German occupation in France and the Balkans?


Vast question. I wasn’t able to find sources on every aspect and I have yet to look at sources outside of the English language. One of the sources that could be the most important to your question might not even exists anymore.

This source briefly the treatment of Jews in zones occupied by Italy. As shown by TG on one of their videos, Jews were in relative safety until 1943 when Nazi Germany took control of Italy and their occupation zones.

I take this source with a grain of salt, it does not say were it got their information. However it is one of the only English language source that talks about the conflicts between Vichy France and Italy. If it is truthful, it is a good account on how Italy attempted to integrate the occupation zones into mainland Italy and how Vichy France resisted this.

The other source I have mainly just laments at the lack of historical studies on how the occupation impacted local population.

Now for Ethiopia and Africa. This source explains the Italian governments goals and some of the actions they took in the occupation of Ethiopia. Italy wanted to export farmers into the country and make them landowners. Ethiopians would not be able to become landowners anymore and would be force to work on these new farms. The right to seize more lands from Ethiopian landowners was also given to Italian farmers. But the source says that at first Italian should only use the land seized from the Ethiopian nobles and imperial family after the victory.

These plans never came to fruition, it was only in its infancy before Italy lost Ethiopia due to a lack of resources from Italy and a lack of understanding and experience in farming in Ethiopia.

I am giving the link to this source. However it is only accessible with a free account.


This next source talks about inter-racial promiscuity between Italians and Africans and the lives of the children born from these relations. These relationships were based on the ideologies and racism of Fascist Italy were Africa was presented as a land of boundless wealth including attractive naked women. Postcard of naked African women were popular and widely circulated.

And the source that I could not find but could be of high interest: Amdä Berhan zä Ityopeya

We know that this clandestine publication made by Ethiopians and Armenians in Italian occupied Ethiopia existed. They made 7 publication but I could not find a single one and other people looking for them posted they also could not. The publications recorded the Italian occupation in their point of view.


I think it is a great topic to discuss, because their was a huge difference in how occupied territories was treated. My best guess for Italy would be, that life could go on as ususal, as their army did not have the strong ideological influence seen in some parts of the German army. Germany threated France good because it was in their interest and some of the most bitterly fighting between Germany and the locals happend in the Balkans, especially in Jugoslavia. Here in Denmark we gladly sold our bacon to the Germans now the british marked was closed. It was paid by ourselves from an account in our national bank.

So Denmark were threated with velvet gloves, life could go on as usual, and we still discuss today if we should have resisted more. The German soldiers were also threated kindly, so were we naive or just ahead of our time?

The German soldiers called Denmark the whipped cream front - guess it says it all