Event Date and time: Tuesday 11th July, 2017 | 18:30 – 20:30
Venue Details: The Khalili Lecture Theatre | SOAS University of London Russell Square WC1H 0XG
Organisers: The Anglo-Ethiopian Society
Event website: The Addis Ababa Massacre
Event cost: Free
In February 1937, Italy’s occupying forces murdered 19,000 Ethiopians. In a brilliant piece of forensic historical reconstruction, Ian Campbell rescues from obscurity this episode of Fascist mass extermination. Ian is over from Ethiopia to launch his new book, which is being published by Hurst this week. Meet the author and hear him talk about his findings. Copies of the book will be on sale at a special price.
Following an abortive attack by a handful of insurgents on Mussolini’s High Command in Italian-occupied Ethiopia, ‘repression squads’ of armed Blackshirts and Fascist civilians were unleashed on the defenceless residents of Addis Ababa. In three terror-filled days and nights of arson, murder and looting, thousands of innocent and unsuspecting men, women and children were roasted alive, shot, bludgeoned, stabbed to death, or blown to pieces with hand-grenades. Meanwhile the notorious Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, infamous for his atrocities in Libya, took the opportunity to add to the carnage by eliminating the intelligentsia and nobility of the ancient Ethiopian empire in a pogrom that swept across the land.
In a richly illustrated and groundbreaking work backed up by meticulous scholarly research, Ian reconstructs and analyses one of Fascist Italy’s least known atrocities, which he estimates eliminated 19-20 per cent of the capital’s population. He exposes the hitherto little-known cover-up conducted at the highest levels of the British government, which enabled the facts of one of the most hideous civilian massacres of all time to be concealed, and the perpetrators to walk free.
Ian Campbell, a development consultant specialising in East Africa, has been studying and writing about Ethiopia since 1988. The author of several scholarly papers on various aspects of Ethiopian cultural history, his works on the Italian occupation (1936-41) include The Plot to Kill Grazianiand, The Massacre of Debre Libanos.