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Uploaded on Apr 30, 2011

In April 1925, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini agreed to the Fascist unions' demands to set up the OND, with Mario Giani, a former director of Italian Westinghouse, at its head. The trade unions initially saw the provision of leisure facilities for workers as a way to compete with the Socialists, who already had a network of cultural organizations. The OND originally had an apolitical and productivist image, helping it gain the support of employers. There was nothing "inherently fascist" about the OND and it had been modelled on institutions like the YMCA. However, in April 1927 Augusto Turati, the Fascist party Secretary, dismissed Giani and became OND leader, turning the OND into an auxiliary of the party.

In the 1930s under the direction of Achille Starace the OND became primarily recreational, concentrating on sports and other outings. It is estimated that by 1936 the OND had organized 80% of salaried workers. [1] Nearly 40% of the industrial workforce had been recruited into the Dopolavoro by 1939 and the sports activities proved popular with large numbers of workers. The OND had the largest membership of any of the mass Fascist organizations in Italy.

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