Originally Posted by broderickwells
One thing the Italian Fascist regime did run was concentration camps for their Slavic population. The Slovenes and Croats in Friuli and Fuime were subject to considerable repression by Mussolini's government.
Fabio Galluccio gives number of camps for civilians (for largest part Yugoslavs,followed by Jews,and also in few cases POWs,then political dissidents,foreigners,homosexuals and Gypsies) to 200 but some other historians like Luciano Casali gives figures up to 250/260 camps all over Italy.Some,like Renzo De Felice in his book "History of the Jews under Fascism",speaks to about 400 confinement and internment camps.Number of prisoners varied from 100 to 5000-6000 but those camps were never at scale of German concentration camps.
Italian Fascism was never racist in it's nature.Mussolini himself knew Italians can't be defined biological race (as actually none of Europe ethnicities)
Only after he vowed to Hitler,racial laws were first introduced in 1937,followed by large propaganda campaign in 1938. Minorities,since early '20 (mostly Slavic and German) were forced to assimilation,in particular Slavs had to change their names and surnames,or face consequences like loosing job and home.
However except purges among ranks of Fascist party and higher institutions,laws against Jews took some time to take full steam.
Only on 4th September 1940 Mussolini signed a decree whichb set the first 43 "internment camps for citizens of enemy countries".Those camps however contained various categories of people.
Italian Jews were officially
not affected by this measure,and they were not interned as Jews (although documents always pointed out their "Jewish race"),but rather as anti-fascists or individuals deemed "dangerous in war".
Another category consisted of subjects of foreign enemy countries,Jew or less,who were in Italy at the outbreak of war (British,French,but also Chinese,Spanish and others) as well foreign Jews who had fled ongoing persecution in their respective countries,resident in Italy or passing through.
Jews with Italian citizenship,but born outside if Italy were classified as foreigners.
Gypsies were also interned in large numbers.Finally,there were convinced anti-fascists.
According to recent studies,in June 1940,upon entry into war,in Italy there were just under 4,000 Jews and stateless persons liable for internment.
They were Germans,Austrians,Poles,Czechs and stateless persons (almoust exclusively Jews with revoked Italians citizenship) and they formed the first large contingent of Jewish inmates in Fascist concentration camps.
Between '41 and '42,the second contingent arrived from areas belonging to ex-Yugoslavia,Croatia and territories annexed to Italy,which comprised some other 2,000 Jews,mainly Slavs,and which also included 500 survivors of the "Pentcho",river ship departing from Bratislava in May 1940 which Palestine as objective,only to run aground,after six months,near Rhodes.
General consensus is that about 200 concentration camps were opened (but they were small,as I said most had only 100-200 inmates),plus other types of camps.Larger were far less.
Every region had them but they were located in isolated and unhealthy places,often in the mountains where winter was hard.
The buildings used to house the inmates varied,but forget German barbed wire and barracks with guards.They varied from monasteries,confiscated villas,farms,abandoned factories,schools,simple barracks,and in one case even a movie theater (Isernia) and a former slaughter house (Manfredonia).
In general, living conditions were extremely scarce,primitive and humiliating,but nevertheless those were not death camps but only concentration camps.
Even if roughly 30 camp commanders were sought after the war by Yugoslavia for war crimes,holocaust in Italy never reached dramatic levels until German have occupied them.Then most of Jews were rounded up and sent to German death camps.