Futurism developed during the transformative and turbulent years of the first half of the 20th century. This time line describes significant moments from the history of the movement, setting them alongside major political, social, and technological events.

Please note that Annex Levels 5 and 7 (see Museum Map), which contain Benedetta's murals and major works by Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero, close August 20.


February 20

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti publishes “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” in Paris’s Le Figaro: it calls for an end to traditionalism (passatismo) in art; a revolution in politics similar to that demanded by Italy’s anarchists, syndicalists, and revolutionary socialists; a glorification of war; and “scorn for women.”


In anticipation of the March general elections in Italy, the first Futurist political manifesto is released and warns of the growing conservative influence in national politics.

January 12

The first in a series of Futurist serate (performative evenings) highlighting the movement’s cultural and political initiatives takes place; these occur all over Italy and are notorious for their raucous onstage proclamations, insults to the audience, and consequent audience response—followed by the intervention of the authorities.

February 11

The “Manifesto of the Futurist Painters” is published and rejects the veneration of Italy’s past artistic glories, insisting that modern art must look to modern life—such as the city, the factories, the flight of an airplane, and the speed of trains—for inspiration.

April 11

Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, and Gino Severini publish the manifesto “Futurist Painting: Technical Manifesto,” and declare that traditional form and color cannot capture the dynamism—the perpetual motion—that characterizes modern civilization, which the Futurist painters are committed to representing in their work.

April 27

Marinetti, Boccioni, Carrà, and Russolo issue “Against Passéist Venice,” which, along with various public pronouncements that year, denounces Venice, Rome, and Florence for their dependence on the tourist trade to the exclusion of modern industry.
Anton Giulio Bragaglia and Arturo Bragaglia devise fotodinamismo (photodynamism), which seeks to represent movement and action in photography, and the “interior essence” of the represented object.

February 11

Francesco Balilla Pratella writes the “Manifesto of Futurist Musicians” and urges musicians to break free from Italy’s past musical accomplishments and from the conservatories, academies, and musical publishers who cherish the past to produce original music reflecting modern life.


Marinetti publishes “War, the Only Hygiene of the World” in Le Futurisme in Paris and ends his attempt to recruit the revolutionary Left; he denounces the anarchists for their commitment to pacifism, which is contrary to the Futurist belief in war as the greatest motor of human development.


Italy invades Libya seeking to expand its empire in the Mediterranean; Italy is divided in its support of the war.


On the advice of Gino Severini, who lives in Paris, Boccioni, Carrà, and others visit the city and experience Cubism firsthand.

October 11

The second Futurist political manifesto is published and proclaims support for the war in Libya. Marinetti declares the Futurists must put aside their art in support of the war effort, and leaves for the front immediately thereafter.


The Futurists hold their most extensive show to date at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris; the show then travels to London, Berlin, and other European cities.

March 25

Valentine de Saint-Point releases the “Manifesto of the Futurist Woman: Response to F. T. Marinetti” in Paris and rejects Marinetti’s division of humanity into “superior” men and “inferior” women; she insists humanity is characterized by a mixture of masculine and feminine, and that, as such, Futurism’s claim that Italy needs more masculinity, more virility, to renew itself after years of degeneration, is correct.

April 11

Boccioni publishes the manifesto “Futurist Sculpture” and accuses contemporary sculpture of mimicking Greek, Egyptian, Gothic, and Renaissance work and failing to embody the essence of modernity by solely reproducing an object’s form; he recommends a sculpture that translates the central core of an object and its relations to its environment (see Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space [1913]).


The Titanic, the largest cruise liner at the time, sinks in the Atlantic; more than half of its 2,200 passengers are lost at sea; the maritime disaster remains one of the worst in history.

May 11

Marinetti authors “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature” and offers a series of strategies—such as the abolition of syntax, the infinitive, adjectives, adverbs, and punctuation, and a more extensive use of analogies—to allow literature to better represent the instincts and intuitions of an object; Marinetti terms the new literature words-in-freedom.


The First Balkan War breaks out between the Ottoman Empire and Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Montenegro; Marinetti departs for Sofia to report on the siege of Adrianople (modern-day Edirne); his Zang Tumb Tuuum (1914) is the result of this experience.


After settling his differences with Marinetti, Boccioni, and others in a brawl, the originally anti-Futurist Ardengo Soffici converts to the movement and—along with Giovanni Papini—founds the Futurist journal Lacerba in Florence.

March 11

Russolo writes “The Art of Noises: Futurist Manifesto,” articulating a new type of music that would draw from sounds of the urban environment (clanging pipes, throbbing valves, screeching machines, etc.) as well as from the sounds of war (artillery, machine-gun fire, screaming soldiers). Traditional orchestras and instruments are insufficient for this musical form; Russolo goes on to create intonarumori (Futurist noisemakers) with Ugo Piatti.

May 29

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is performed in Paris by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company; the innovative designs of the Ballets Russes have a wide-ranging influence in the development of the theater.

September 29

Marinetti releases the manifesto “The Variety Theater” and argues that, contrary to traditional theater, which simply narrates events, the variety theater seeks to continuously shock the audience with multiple activities on stage, demands audience collaboration, and challenges accepted notions of time and space; he urges that variety theater be even more daring, for instance deliberately sowing confusion and discord in the audience in order to disrupt the activity onstage, thereby making the audience a part of the performance, as in Futurist serate.

October 15

The third Futurist political manifesto is published in anticipation of the first general elections with universal male suffrage a week later; it urges the government to continue the empire building begun with the war in Libya.

June 28

A Bosnian assassin, with Serbian aid, murders the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife, Sofie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo, setting in motion events that would culminate in the First World War in early August.

July 11

Antonio Sant’Elia publishes the manifesto “Futurist Architecture” and denounces the excessive decoration that draws inspiration from the past in contemporary Italian architecture; he argues for architecture that eschews decorative excess, is inspired by the mechanical world, and maximizes the use of modern materials, such as reinforced concrete, iron, and glass, to build the Futurist city.

August 3

Italy declares its neutrality in World War I.


Futurists engage in the first of numerous interventionist demonstrations aimed at pushing Italy into the war on the side of France against Germany and Austria.

September 11

Giacomo Balla releases “The Antineutral Suit: Futurist Manifesto,” denouncing clothing that encourages fear, caution, and indecision through neutral colors, useless belts and buttons, and excessive fabric, likening this phenomenon to the Italian government’s neutrality in the Great War; Balla calls for dynamically colored clothing to encourage dynamic behavior, and streamlined, simple apparel to favor aggressive movements, speed, flexibility, and agility.


Florentine Futurists Giovanni Papini, Ardengo Soffici, and Aldo Palazzeschi break with Marinetti over his increasingly nationalist politics.


Balla and Fortunato Depero release “Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe”; building on the Futurist advances in painting, sculpture, literature, and music to represent motion and instinct, they seek, through plastic dynamism, to give form to “the invisible, the impalpable, the imponderable, the imperceptible” in the universe; innovations such as Futurist “toys” that continually entertain and educate children are one of the results of this initiative.

May 7

The cruise liner Lusitania is sunk by a German submarine; among the 1,195 who die at sea are 128 Americans; relations between Germany and the U.S. are strained.

May 12

Enrico Prampolini publishes the manifesto “Futurist Stage Design” and declares that contemporary stage design must break out of simply producing the static, pictorial backdrop of a theatrical scene; it must be more dynamic and seek to “live out” the dramatic action onstage and be an integral part of it; he recommends, for instance, a ban on painted scenery and its replacement with waves of light representing the mood of a scene.

May 23

Italy enters the war on the Allied side of France, Britain, and Russia.


Futurists Marinetti, Boccioni, Sant’Elia, Russolo, Mario Sironi, and Achille Funi join the Lombard Battalion of Volunteer Cyclists and Automobilists and leave for the front.


Albert Einstein completes his general theory of relativity.

December 10

Marinetti publishes “Italian Pride: Futurist Manifesto,” glorifying the war and combating the early signs of public resistance to the growing human cost of the fighting.

August 16

Boccioni dies at the front in a cavalry training exercise.

October 10

Sant’Elia dies in the Eighth Battle of the Isonzo.
Anton Giulio Bragaglia produces Thaïs, the only surviving Futurist film.


First Russian Revolution topples the czar from power and installs a republic; the czar and his family are executed later, in 1918.

April 6

The U.S. enters World War I against Germany in retaliation against its sinking of U.S. ships, and following the discovery that Germany was urging Mexico into the war against the U.S.


Italy loses the Veneto territory to the Germans and Austrians in the disastrous battle of Caporetto; nationalists rally to save Italy from collapse; divisions deepen between supporters of the war and those looking for a quick peace.
Anton Giulio Bragaglia founds the Casa d’Arte Bragaglia in Rome; it exhibits the Futurists and other Italian and international modern artists.


First signs of the Spanish flu emerge in the U.S.; by 1920 the disease has spread worldwide and claimed nearly 100 million lives.

February 11

Marinetti releases the “Manifesto of the Italian Futurist Party,” which resurrects early Futurist political radicalism and calls for a restructuring of society to promote individual liberties against all forms of social, economic, political, and cultural oppression.

October 24–November 3

Italy overwhelms the Austrian army at the battle of Vittorio Veneto, concluding the war on the Italian front.

November 7

Bolsheviks seize power in Petrograd and initiate the eventual communist takeover of the country; many Italians fear a similar revolution at home.

November 11

Germany signs an armistice with the Allies, officially ending World War I.
Depero founds the Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero in Rovereto and begins work on furniture, toys, and other objects that help define the Art Deco movement of the 1920s.

March 23

The fasci di combattimento—the Fascists—are formed in Milan in response to fears of socialist revolution at home and the Italian government’s failure to defend Italian interests at the Paris Peace Conference; Marinetti and a number of Futurists join the movement. From the beginning, Marinetti and Benito Mussolini are bound by their militant nationalism and antisocialism, but Mussolini is alienated by Marinetti’s antipathy to the conservative monarchy and Catholic Church.

April 15

Battle of Via Mercanti takes place in Milan; Fascists and Futurists engage in a violent confrontation with Socialists and workers—characteristic of Italy’s Biennio Rosso (Red Biennium, 1919–20), in which growing labor and leftist political radicalism is met with force.

June 28

The Treaty of Versailles is signed, ending hostilities between Germany and the Allies (the U.S., Britain, France, and Italy); it is widely condemned in Germany for its excessive harshness, undermines the new republican government in Germany, and is crucial to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist (Nazi) Party.

September 12

Writer Gabriele D’Annunzio and his legionnaires invade Fiume (Rijeka) after learning the Italian government had agreed to relinquish its claim to the territory to neighboring Yugoslavia; Marinetti and other Futurists join him immediately; Marinetti returns in October; Mario Carli remains active in Fiume for months thereafter.


The Futurist-Fascist alliance fails to capture many seats at the Italian general elections; Mussolini moves Fascism in a more conservative direction, further straining the union with Marinetti.

May 29

Marinetti and a number of Futurists formally abandon the Fascists on account of the latter’s growing conservative nature.


At the climax of the Red Biennium, Italian workers occupy factories throughout the country; sympathy for Fascism’s hard-line stance against workers and Socialists grows.


The Italian Communist Party is formed.

January 16

Marinetti releases the manifesto “Tactilism” and introduces the “art of touch”; his goal is to unify people by achieving tactile harmonies, and thereby improved communication, through the shared experience of touching specially chosen materials that elicit specific senses; the social divisions of the Red Biennium partly inspire this artistic initiative.

June 20

Ivo Pannaggi and Vinicio Paladini release the “Manifesto of Futurist Mechanical Art” and declare that Futurism must unequivocally draw its inspiration from machines, and no longer from landscapes, figures, or nudes.

October 29

Benito Mussolini is named prime minister of Italy by King Vittorio Emanuele III after Fascists take over most of northern Italy and begin a March on Rome with the threat to seize the city if Mussolini is not given political power.

November 3

Marinetti and a host of other Futurists publish an open letter to Mussolini in the Fascist newspaper Il Popolo d’Italia and applaud his coming to power.


Marinetti and a group of Futurists submit to Mussolini the proposal “Artistic Rights Defended by the Italian Futurists,” which calls for state support of Italian modern art; leftist Futurists resist this attempt to link Futurism to Fascism.


Following their victory in the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks proclaim the formation of the USSR (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
The Irish Free State emerges after the Independence War of 1919–21; it ends nearly 400 years of British rule of Ireland.
Anton Giulio Bragaglia founds the Teatro degli Indipendenti for the propagation of avant-garde theater in Italy.


French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr region of Germany after the latter announces it cannot keep up with reparation payments decreed by the Treaty of Versailles; the German government declares a general strike in retaliation; the resulting hyperinflation undermines the government and benefits extremist groups such as the Nazi Party, which attempts an armed uprising in Munich in November, known as the Beer Hall Putsch.


The Walt Disney Company is founded; over the years, it comes to define American developments in animation, film, and television.
The modern state of Turkey is founded as a republic with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire; Kemal Atatürk—the symbol of modern Turkey—becomes its first president.

January 21

Vladimir Lenin dies; following a power struggle between Leon Trotsky and Josef Stalin the latter emerges as the new ruler of the USSR.


In general elections widely marked by Fascist violence and voter intimidation the Fascists acquire control of the Italian parliament.

May 30

Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti publicly condemns the fraudulent April elections and then disappears within two weeks; it is widely suspected that he was murdered by the Fascists. Mussolini’s hold on power weakens as political allies demand he end Fascist violence and Fascists themselves demand an end to parliamentary government.

November 23–24

Futurists hold a congress in Milan to reconcile their left- and right-wing elements; Marinetti ensures that no criticism of Mussolini’s government results from the meeting.
Modernist classics The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and The Trial by Franz Kafka are published; Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is also published—to little acclaim at the time.

January 3

Mussolini announces the establishment of a dictatorship: the press is censored, all parties except the Fascist Party are banned, and the OVRA (secret police) is established.


The Congress of Fascist Intellectuals is held; it signals the beginning of the “Fascitization” of culture, wherein the state imposes ever-greater control over all forms of culture; Marinetti attends and signs the resulting “Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals.”


Futurists Balla, Depero, and Prampolini participate in the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris; their work is well received; Marinetti hosts a conference in Paris in October glorifying the Futurist contributions to the Italian pavilion, Mussolini as the new leader of Italy, and Futurism as the “precursor” of Fascism.

October 5

Mussolini proclaims that the Fascist regime must have a Fascist art but does not specify a style, unleashing a battle between multiple movements who want this role; the Futurists vocally lobby for the role through 1926 and 1927, claiming to capture Fascism’s modern, revolutionary nature, and are met by conservative and antimodernist attacks.


Charles Lindbergh flies nonstop from Garden City, New York, to Paris, inaugurating an “air craze” for increased commercial air travel, as well as a growing belief in air power as part of a nation’s armed forces.
Depero goes to New York City; he produces, among other work, a variety of magazine covers for Vogue and Vanity Fair; he returns to Italy in 1930.
The Jazz Singer is released in America and heralds the end of the silent-film era.


Italo Balbo, head of the Italian Royal Air Force, leads a squadron of seaplanes across the western Mediterranean. In the summer of 1933, after flights to the eastern Mediterranean, Brazil, and West Africa, he leads a squadron from Italy to Chicago and back; the regime, and Marinetti specifically, recognize Balbo as a symbol of Italian and Fascist triumphs.


Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to complete a transatlantic solo flight.
Al Smith, Democratic governor of New York, becomes the first Catholic nominated for president in the U.S.

February 11

Mussolini’s regime signs the Lateran Pacts with the Vatican and brings to an end nearly 70 years of enmity between the Catholic Church and the government of Italy.

March 29

Marinetti is nominated to the Royal Academy of Italy by Mussolini himself in recognition of his national and international fame and his support for the regime.

September 22

Marinetti publishes the “Manifesto of Aeropittura,” which calls for painting that capitalizes on the aerial perspectives of flight; the Futurists’ greater interest in the airplane parallels the interest in air travel generated by the accomplishments of Lindbergh, Earhart, and Balbo (see Tato [Guglielmo Sansoni], Flying over the Coliseum in a Spiral [Spiraling] [1930]).


The Great Depression begins with the Wall Street crash; the economic downturn ultimately helps bring Hitler to power in Germany and weakens Western resistance to German, Italian, and Japanese imperialism in the following decade.


The Communist Party of Vietnam is formed; it becomes the driving force of the Vietnamese independence movement against the French and, later, the U.S.


Mahatma Gandhi leads thousands of Indians in the Salt March in protest against the British-imposed tax on salt; this massive instance of civil disobedience highlights the growing influence of the Indian independence movement.

April 11

Marinetti and Tato draft “Futurist Photography: Manifesto,” which is eventually published in full in January 1931; it calls for, among other things, the fusion of different perspectives in one photograph, the representation of different states of mind by emphasizing body parts that characterize those states, and the determination of how best to deceive aerial reconnaissance photographers during wartime.

December 28

Marinetti releases “The Manifesto of Futurist Cooking”; it calls for pasta to be eliminated from the Italian diet and for it to be replaced with Italian-grown rice, coinciding with Mussolini’s goal of economic independence; Marinetti’s diatribe against pasta also maintains that it makes people (and soldiers) slow and lazy.
Depero publishes the manifesto “Futurism and Advertising Art,” declaring that the art of the future will be largely advertising; advertising art will “exalt” the products and companies of the modern era, which are the determining factors of contemporary life (see Depero’s Campari advertisements).

February 1–2

An expanded version of the “Manifesto of Aeropittura” is published on the occasion of the Prima mostra di aeropittura (First Exhibition of Aeropittura) in Rome; new signatories to the manifesto include Balla, Benedetta (Benedetta Cappa Marinetti), Brunas (Bruna Somenzi), Gerardo Dottori, Fillìa (Luigi Colombo), Pippo Oriani, Prampolini, Tato.


The first of the Scottsboro Trials is held in Scottsboro, Alabama, in which an all-white jury quickly finds nine black teenagers guilty of raping two white women, with little evidence and poor legal representation for the defendants; the trials become emblematic of the Jim Crow South.


Construction of the Empire State Building is completed.

June 23

Marinetti and Fillìa release the “Manifesto of Futurist Sacred Art,” declaring that stagnant art is doomed; consequently, Futurism must embrace arte sacra; the reconciliation of the Catholic Church and the Italian state in the Lateran Pacts of 1929 may partly account for this manifesto.


Japan conquers the Chinese territory of Manchuria as it expands its empire.


American gangster Al Capone is convicted of tax evasion.


Unemployment in Germany reaches 6 million; Hitler’s Nazi Party benefits and becomes the largest party in the German parliament, the Reichstag.


Bonus March occurs in Washington, D.C.; veterans of World War I and their families, desperate for income in the depths of the Great Depression, converge on the Capitol in June to pressure Congress to redeem cash-bonus certificates earlier than required; the army disperses the marchers in July.


The Soviet famine of 1932–33 begins as Stalin imposes state control over agriculture as part of his plan for the forced and rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union; upward of 8 million people die, many of them in the Ukraine.


The Mostra della Rivoluzione Fascista (Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution) opens in Rome, wherein modern artists’ work depicts various stages of Italian Fascist history over the previous decade; the Futurists have a limited role, with Prampolini and Dottori designing minor rooms dealing with Fascist accomplishments in trade and agriculture; pride of place goes to Mario Sironi, who designs much of the coveted ground-floor exhibits, which detail how Fascism “saved” Italy; other noted artists include Giuseppe Terragni and Achille Funi.

January 30

Adolf Hitler is named chancellor of Germany; he begins imposing the Nazi dictatorship within weeks.

March 4

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn in as president of the U.S.; he immediately inaugurates the New Deal to resurrect the American economy in the midst of the Great Depression.

September 22

Marinetti and Pino Masnata release “The Radia: Futurist Manifesto,” declaring that radio programs are far too unoriginal; they argue that radio is a revolutionary technology: space is destroyed, since programs can be broadcast worldwide, and time is conquered, because voices from the past and infinite events can be broadcast simultaneously; they recommend broadcasters use the Futurist’s words-in-freedom style for communication.


Futurist architect Angiolo Mazzoni’s Palazzo delle Poste e Telegrafi (Post and Telegraph Office) in La Spezia is inaugurated by Costanzo Ciano, the minister for communications; the interior is decorated by a mural designed by Futurists Prampolini and Fillìa. This project is an example of the many that the Fascist regime commissioned from a variety of artists as a means of maintaining their support through patronage.
Mazzoni’s Palazzo delle Poste (Post Office) in Palermo is completed; Futurist Benedetta’s five panels—Synthesis of Aerial Communications, Synthesis of Marine Communications, Synthesis of Overland Communications, Synthesis of Telegraphic and Telephonic Communications, and Synthesis of Radio Communications (all 1933–34)—are hung in its conference room.


A massive dust storm sweeps through the Great Plains of the U.S. in what comes to be known as the Dust Bowl; it is the worst such occurrence to date, but not the last in the 1930s.


Fillìa publishes the manifesto “Bas-Relief Murals”; it demands that new architecture be adorned with murals that depict modern subjects and the values of modern times, not a nostalgia for the past; he recommends the decoration of all Fascist public buildings be entrusted to the avant-garde.


Hitler introduces the Nuremberg Laws to systematically discriminate against German Jews.

October 2

Seeking to expand its empire in east Africa, Italy goes to war with Ethiopia; the Futurists participate immediately; Italy is sanctioned by the League of Nations, but Ethiopia is defeated the following May.


The Rome-Berlin Axis is announced, signaling Italy’s closer relations with Nazi Germany and its turning away from Britain and France after their attempt to halt the Italo-Ethiopian War.
Italy and Germany agree to intervene in the Spanish Civil War to aid the fascist general Francisco Franco.


Pablo Picasso’s painting Guernica is completed; it depicts the devastation of the village in northern Spain by German and Italian warplanes in aid to Franco’s war effort; Guernica goes on to become one of the single most recognizable artistic depictions of the horrors of modern war.


Japan invades China and inaugurates the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45); in December, after capturing Nanking, the capital of the Republic of China under the Kuomintang, Japanese soldiers massacre an estimated 300,000 Chinese and engage in widespread rape and looting; the event comes to be known as the “Rape of Nanking.”

August 1

Marinetti publicly defends Futurism when Hitler denounces modern art, and Futurism by name; Marinetti accuses Hitler of failing to understand an entire generation of developments in art, of failing to recognize the nationalist and Fascist credentials of Futurism, and of mistakenly assuming there is any connection between modern art and the Jews; the latter, he argues, have always been the merchants of modern art, and not its creators.


Hitler annexes Austria, bringing the German border up to Italy; Mussolini acquiesces as relations tighten between the two dictatorships.


Hitler visits Italy and further strengthens ties between Germany and Italy.

July 14

“The Manifesto of Race” is issued in Italy and makes the argument that Jews are a separate race from the purportedly more Aryan Italians.

September 30

Hitler, with Mussolini’s support, and British and French acquiescence to avoid war, strips the Sudetenland territory from neighboring Czechoslovakia.

November 9–10

In Germany the Nazis unleash Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), an attack on Jews and their property resulting in numerous deaths, thousands of incarcerations, and untold property damage.

November 17

The Racial Laws are implemented in Italy; the discrimination against Italian Jews is similar to that decreed in Germany’s Nuremberg Laws and prohibits the following: Jewish and non-Jewish intermarriage; Jewish service in the armed services; Jewish guardianship of non-Jewish children; and Jewish employment by the state, in higher education, and in most skilled professions. Additionally, citizenship granted after 1919 to Italian Jews is revoked and assets are seized.


The anti-Semitic turn in Italy results in a concerted attack against modern art, perceived by conservatives and antimodernists as too foreign, insufficiently nationalist, too radical, and, as a catchword for all these characteristics, too “Jewish.”

January 11

In this issue of the Futurist journal Artecrazia Marinetti condemns the attacks on modern art in Italy, claiming Futurism is the embodiment of Italian nationalism and, having been born in Italy, cannot be accused of being a foreign element in Italy; additionally, he claims there are no Jews in Futurism and that Jews have never been instrumental in the creation of modern art; the journal is nevertheless shut down by the state.


Hitler annexes the Czech state contrary to promises he was satisfied with the Czech Sudetenland territory; tensions rise with Britain and France.

May 22

The Italo-German Pact of Steel is signed, transforming the Axis into a military alliance.

September 1

Germany invades Poland, starting World War II; Mussolini initially refuses to join the war owing to Italy’s lack of preparedness.


German forces invade and quickly defeat Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France; British troops are forced off the continent.

June 10

Stunned by German success in Eastern and Western Europe, Italy joins the war and attacks France in hopes of territorial concessions at the peace table; upon France’s defeat Marinetti praises Hitler as the embodiment of Futurist principles that had always glorified war.


In the Battle of Britain, the German air force, the Luftwaffe, seeks to defeat the Royal Air Force in anticipation of invading Britain, and fails.

June 22

Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa with the invasion of the Soviet Union; the goal is to conquer “living space” for the Germans to settle in once the Jews and Slavs have been either systematically eliminated or enslaved, respectively.

December 7

Japan attacks the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in an attempt to conquer an Asian empire and hobble American resistance; the U.S. declares war on Japan and, within a few days, on Germany and Italy; the tide of war now begins to turn in favor of the Allies (Britain, the U.S., and the USSR).

January 20

The Wannsee Conference is held in a suburb in Berlin; senior Nazi officials coordinate the systematic deportation of Jews from across Europe to Poland and then their extermination.


Mussolini increases the number of Italian troops on the Russian front; Marinetti volunteers and serves in Russia from July through September.

July 10

Sicily is invaded by the Allies once North Africa is cleared of German and Italian forces.

July 24

The Fascist Grand Council abandons Mussolini; he is relieved of authority by the king and arrested.

September 8

Italy signs an armistice with the Allies and declares war on Germany; the Germans take control of northern and central Italy.

September 12

Hitler has Mussolini liberated from prison and sets him up as ruler of the puppet Italian Social Republic of Salò in the north; civil war erupts in the north between Fascists/Nazis and antifascist partisans; Marinetti follows Mussolini to Salò and continues his public support for the regime and the war.

June 4

The Allies capture Rome and push into northern Italy.

June 6

D-day; U.S., British, and Canadian forces storm Normandy’s beaches and begin the conquest of Germany in the west.

December 2

Marinetti dies of a heart attack in Bellaggio on Lake Como.

April 25

Mussolini is executed by Italian partisans.

May 2

German and Fascist forces surrender to the Allies in Italy.

May 8

German forces surrender to the Allies in Germany; World War II in Europe is over.