Dictator Benito Mussolini loved young mistresses and fast cars / Biography
This article will focus on one of the founders of Italian fascism, Benito Mussolini, who was admired by Roosevelt, Churchill and Adolf Hitler. About a man of legend for the Italian people, who gradually turned into the shadow of the Fuhrer of the Third Reich.
“About 40 percent of Italians today remember Benito Mussolini with a smile. The fact that the Duce still has many supporters can be judged by the crowds of fans who constantly come to his grave, and by the armfuls of fresh flowers that they leave here, “a man who met him told one of the Deutsche Welle journalists at the cemetery. “Many old people still appreciate him, because he gave them a pension, introduced compulsory education, and created a fire service. There are those who still believe in the national ideals of the leader, but consider it a big mistake that he wanted to seize other countries and got involved in World War II, ”another echoes him.
He was admired by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill and the American President Franklin Roosevelt. Thus, the Briton, long before taking office as head of government, called Mussolini “the best lawmaker among the living and the new Caesar of the twentieth century.” Pope Pius XII agreed with him, claiming that Benito is “the greatest of men” that he knows.
Alfa Romeo and Benito Mussolini
According to his contemporaries, the Italian dictator loved women and cars more than anything else. He had both those and others in abundance. In the late 1920s, he met an Alfa Romeo designer named Vittorio Yano, who was destined to bring Benito Mussolini’s most daring car ideas to life. In those years, all wealthy Italians chose Alfa Romeo. The Italian leader himself was no exception. He called this brand a national pearl. For the first time such a car was presented to him as a gift in 1927, subsequently every year the leader’s car fleet was replenished with new items that had barely come off the assembly line.
In the early 1930s, when the economic crisis erupted, he saved the company from imminent bankruptcy: Mussolini had previously created the National Institute for Industrial Revival, which later nationalized the company and invested heavily in it.
By the way, while driving one of his convertibles, Duce met the main love of his life. In 1933, on the way to Rome, he drove around a car parked by the side of the road, in which there was a family and a young man believed to be the suitor of 19-year-old Claretta Petacci. Seeing the passing leader, the girl shouted: “Duce! Duce! ” The Italian dictator pulled up abruptly and walked over to greet the surprised family. After talking with the relatives of the young beauty, he invited her to dinner at his residence.
Subsequently, it has become known that despite the 30-year age difference, she was in love with Mussolini from childhood and wrote him letters, which settled in batches in the secretariat and never reached the addressee. Becoming a favorite, she was able to promote her brother Marcello, as well as get a luxury villa “Camiluccia” in the heart of Rome.
In addition to his passion for cars, Mussolini adored yachts, many of which he received as gifts from friends. One of the most beloved was the Black Flame ship. By the way, it sunk in 1943 after the fall of the fascist regime.
Biography of Duce
Mussolini developed a love for luxury in his adult life. The future leader came from a very simple family: his father was a carpenter and blacksmith who had not received an education, but was actively interested in politics. He was an ardent socialist who more than once went to jail for his convictions. His son Benito initially adhered to the same views.
At the age of 17, he is a member of the Socialist Party, literally swallows books and hones his oratory skills. In Switzerland, he meets like-minded people from other countries. Moving from city to city, constantly changing jobs, he no longer saw his life without politics. In 1907 he became a journalist. Articles in socialist publications quickly brought him popularity. At that time, he received the nickname Piccolo Duce (Little Chief). Subsequently, the “piccollo” will be lost somewhere, but the appeal “Duce” will be with him until the end of his life.
In 1911, in his articles, he smashed the aggressive Italian-Libyan war, calling it unjust. The anti-war demonstrations did not go unnoticed by the Italian authorities: Mussolini was behind bars for several months. After his release from prison, his party comrades made him editor-in-chief of the mouthpiece of the Socialist Party – the newspaper Vperyod! I must say that under the leadership of Duce, the newspaper has become one of the most widely read in the country, its circulation has quadrupled. According to his colleagues, the editor-in-chief could come up with bright headlines, choose the most burning topics, “feeling the mood of the masses and knowing in advance what exactly they want to hear from him.”
Mussolini and his socialist friends fell out in the First World War. The party believed that Rome should remain neutral, and the editor-in-chief from the pages of the publication began to urge the Italians to side with the Entente. According to Mussolini, this way Italy would be able to regain the historical lands that were seized by Austria-Hungary.
Having broken with the socialists, he went to the front, where he proved himself as a fearless soldier. Returning home, Mussolini reconsidered his political views. In 1919 he created the Italian Struggle Union, which he later transformed into the National Fascist Party.
He stated that Italy can be revived only with a firm hand and based on traditional values. Former friends and associates – leftists – turned out to be Mussolini’s main enemies.
After the party won 35 MPs to parliament in the 1921 elections, the followers of the Duce began to form armed groups of party supporters from among the veterans of the First World War. By the color of their clothes they were nicknamed “Blackshirts”. The symbol of the party has become the fascia – the ancient Roman attributes of power in the form of a bundle of connected rods with an ax or poleax stuck in them. The Italian fascio – “union” also belongs to them.
Read: American soldiers in Italy, 1945 Color!
In October 1922, a mass march of “black shirts” actually cleared the way for Mussolini to power, giving him the post of prime minister. With the support of conservatives, business representatives and the Catholic Church, he began to strengthen his vertical of power, gradually squeezing the opposition out of parliament. In 1928, all parties except the ruling party were banned.
By creating jobs, opening new schools and hospitals, Duce enlisted the support of the population. At the same time, he managed to accomplish the almost impossible – to establish relations with the papal throne: the pontiff officially recognized the existence of the Italian state.
Leaders of other Western countries looked with envy at how well Mussolini was doing. His bright image in their eyes was spoiled only by his aspirations for territorial conquests: the seizure of Ethiopia, the establishment of control over Libya, the creation of a controlled regime in Albania.
Finally, his image was spoiled by the rapprochement with Adolf Hitler, who came to power in Germany. Mussolini was in no hurry to approach the Fuhrer, on the contrary, he was the idol of the leader of the Third Reich. Mussolini tried to thwart the Anschluss of Austria, as he had established good relations with the local authorities.
However, the Spanish Civil War changed everything: both leaders supported General Franco. No matter how Britain and France tried to persuade Mussolini to an alliance, the Duce joined the Anti-Comintern Pact of Germany and Japan. Gradually, the Italian leader, whom Hitler was guided by, turned into his junior partner.
Unsuccessful participation in hostilities led to the fact that among the closest associates of the leader, a conspiracy matured, as a result of which, in July 1943, Duce was removed from the spot of prime minister and arrested.
By order of Hitler, Mussolini was able to steal after a couple of months: the Fuhrer needed the Duce to continue the struggle. In the north of Italy, in areas that remained under German control, the Italian Social Republic emerged, with Mussolini as a head. Despite this spot, he practically retired, devoting most of his time to writing his memoirs.
At the end of April 1945, together with his mistress Clara Petacci and several supporters, he tried to escape to Switzerland. They joined a small group of Germans who were also seeking refuge in this country. Disguised as a German officer, Mussolini was identified by the Italian partisans. He was brought to Villa Belmonte, at the fence of which it was decided to shoot him. Clara Petacci was asked to step aside, but she grabbed the Duce’s arm and even tried to cover him with her body from bullets. As a result, the woman died along with Mussolini.
After that, their bodies were hung upside down at a gas station near Piazza Loreto. After a while, the corpse was thrown into a gutter, and only then they were buried in an unmarked grave. Subsequently, the leader’s supporters were able to bring the body of the Duce to his homeland and bury it in the family crypt.