The event was to be held at the Istituto Via PA Micheli school in the Italian capital, giving the students a “unique memory” of a “special event”, according to flyers put out by the school to advertise the event.
Fabrizio de Sanctis, the President of Rome's branch of Anpi, the national partisans' association, which commemorates those who fought against fascism, said: “It was a terrible idea.
"You absolutely shouldn't try to create a party atmosphere with a fascist theme – especially in a school.”
Benito Mussolini (L) and Adolf Hitler meet in Florence 1940
He added that these kinds of festivities were "a misrepresentation of how it was; it ignores the horrific things which went on and could certainly minimise the reality of fascism."
The 'Grand Fascist-Era Ball' had promised music from the period of Benito Mussolini's rule, as well as decorations and photos from the time, according to the flyers.
There was also a dress code, with attendees asked to ensure their outfits were "as faithful as possible to the period", with "at least a themed accessory".
Benito Mussolini inspects the troops on the eastern front
The school’s head teacher Anna Maria Altieri, however, cancelled the event less than 24 hours after it had been announced and sent a note to parents saying that the event had been cancelled to avoid “misunderstandings”.
The goal of the original event, Ms Altieri explained, was "to promote an initiative of cultural value, as part of a project of historical research approved by the Ministry of Education".
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She said: "Our goal was not to re-evaluate a period which has already been clearly and unquestionably condemned by history and by the Italian population."
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Flyers advertising the 'Grand Fascist-Era Ball' had noted that the school itself had links to the fascist era, having been opened by Mussolini and retaining traces of the period not only in its distinctive architecture, but also in its archives, which include flags, old photographs and documents dating back to the period.
Benito Mussolini (L) on the eastern front
Dictator Benito Mussolini (R) inspects Italian troops
One of the photos on the original flyer showed dictator Mussolini in uniform, walking down the steps of the school with its head teacher at the time.
Mr De Sanctis said: "Teaching children about fascism should be treated seriously; for example by inviting witnesses in to explain what that time was really like.
"Not just in Italy but in all of Europe, we need to be very vigilant about how we address this period of history and making sure it is not forgotten or misrepresented."
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