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The Claims of Culture at Empire's EndSyria and Lebanon under French Rule$
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Jennifer M. Dueck

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264478

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264478.001.0001

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The Axis Factor: Fascist Overtures

The Axis Factor: Fascist Overtures

(p.118) Chapter 4 The Axis Factor: Fascist Overtures
The Claims of Culture at Empire's End

Jennifer M. Dueck

British Academy

This chapter focuses on the Italian and German presence in the Levant in the pre-war period. It examines how German and Italian cultural activities became a forum in which links were forged and fashioned between French, foreign, and local cultural players. After providing an overview of German and Italian interests in the Middle East, the Italian and German networks are dealt with individually. Although Italy and Germany shared the desire to diminish Franco–British influence in the Middle East, they both faced obstacles to implementing a programme of active penetration. As political or military avenues of agitation were not feasible, cultural projects took on greater significance than would otherwise have been the case. Both nations wanted to encourage anti-French agitation without provoking direct international confrontation or appearing politically power-hungry in the eyes of the local population.

Keywords:   Italy, Germany, Middle East, France, Britain, Levant, cultural activities

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