In this chapter we want to discuss the particular case of Italy and how World War II in the postwar period came to provide the ground for political legitimacy. However, this ground was interpreted very differently by Catholics and Communists, leading to the notion of a divided nation. Furthermore, the postwar interpretation of the Resistance movement as the foundation of nationhood and democracy was not in congruence with WWII memories among larger segments of the Italian population. Underneath the postwar consensus, therefore, one could find antagonistic notions of the foundations of political legitimacy and national identity. In particular, the paper focuses on how WWII memories were taken up again at the demise of the Cold War, starting a new round of debates that have helped shape Italian political and cultural life during the last two decades. WWII debates have been running high in Europe since the 1990s. However, within a Western European perspective, nowhere as in Italy did the debates question the very existence of the nation as a democratic regime. We will try to explain why this is so. The material discussed consists of political and intellectual controversies over World War II events as these unfolded in the 1990s, with short references also to popular films and books released in the 1990s that stirred heated public debates. We end by indicating the relevance of the Italian case for European debates.