18. The end of Fascism in Italy
By the summer of 1943, the Italian military was soundly beaten by the British and Americans, and the Italian people had had quite enough of Il Duce (the duke, understood by Italians to mean the leader) and were ready to depose him. King Victor Emmanuel III, in an attempt to save his crown, removed Mussolini as prime minister after obtaining a vote of no confidence from the Grand Council of Fascism and placed him under arrest. The Italian people supported the king, and the new government of Italy opened negotiations with the Allies, seeking an armistice. In response, Hitler ordered a commando mission to rescue Mussolini, which was successful, and the German leader installed Mussolini as the dictator of those parts of Italy under German control. Mussolini managed to hold the position only by virtue of the German troops protecting him.
Mussolini had his revenge against those on the Grand Council who had voted against him, trying 19 in a special court (13 of whom were in absentia) and executing the six which they had in custody. The Italian people under his jurisdiction were almost uniformly against him and partisan resistance fighters plagued the ever-shrinking territory as the Americans and British struggled up the Italian boot. By the spring of 1945 German resistance had all but collapsed and partisans who had been under Mussolini’s thumb since 1922 finally caused Il Duce to flee for Switzerland with his mistress. A communist partisan group captured them, gave them a brief mock trial, and executed both on April 28, 1945. The final pictures of the pair shown to the Italian people which he had led to disaster were of them hanging upside down at a Milan service station.
Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:
“‘Pope and Mussolini’ Tells The ‘Secret History’ Of Fascism And The Church”. Author Interviews, National Public Radio. January 27, 2014. Online transcript
“How Italians protected Jews from the Holocaust”. Chicago Tribune Editorial Page. October 10, 2014
“Nazism, Fascism, and the Working Class”. Timothy W. Mason. 1995
“Mussolini and the Press”. David S. D’Amato, libertarianism.org. January 28, 2016
“The Myth of the New Man in Italian Fascist Ideology”. J. Dagnino. 2016
“Women in Fascist Italy”. Paul Corner, Research Article, University of Siena. January 1, 1993. Online
“Education in Fascist Italy”. L. Minio-Paluello, Foreign Affairs. July, 1947
“Italian Fascism and Youth”. Michael A. Ladeen, Journal of Contemporary History. July, 1969
“Censorship and Literature in Fascist Italy”. Guido Bonsaver. 2007
“Mussolini’s Football”. Multiple writers, Duke University. Updated 2013. Online
“Fascism, the Mafia, and the Emergence of Sicilian Separatism (1919-1943)”. Jack E. Reece, Journal of Modern History. June, 1973
“The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe”. David I. Kerzer. 2014
“Italy and the Great Depression: An Analysis of the Italian Economy, 1929-1936”. Fabrizio Mattesini, Beniamino Quintieri, Explorations in Economic History. July, 1997
“Italy Betrayed”. Peter Tompkins. 1966
“Jews in Italy Under Fascist and Nazi Rule 1922-1945”. Joshua D. Zimmerman. 2005
“Rendezvous with the Rex”. John T. Correll, AIR FORCE Magazine. December, 2008
“My Autobiography with The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism”. Benito Mussolini. 2006
“Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy”. Christopher Duggan. 2013
The Irish Times – How Pius Came To Regret His Deal With The Duce: The Pope And Mussolini
Anne Frank – Why Did Hitler Hate The Jews?
The Atlantic – Understanding Hitler’s Anti-Semitism
History Collection – Antisemitism Helped Protect Jews From the Black Death… And Then Got Them Killed
Haaretz – Angst or Reality: How Bad Is anti-Semitism in Italy?
History on this Day – Mussolini’s Blackshirts March On Rome Seizing Total Control
E International Relations – Hitler And Mussolini: A Comparative Analysis Of The Rome-Berlin Axis 1936-1940
History Answer UK – Mussolini Vs The Mafia
Natural History – Were Romulus And Remus Really Nursed By A She-Wolf?
Smithsonian Magazine – How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler
Soccer Politics – Mussolini’s Football
Football Times – When The World Cup Rolled Into Fascist Italy In 1934
The Guardian – Italy Mafia Networks Are More Complex And Powerful, Says Minister
Haaretz – When Jews Praised Mussolini and Supported Nazis: Meet Israel’s First Fascists
Australian War Memorial – The Corpse of Benito Mussolini, his mistress, Clara Petacci and other senior Italian Fascists