The Execution of Mussolini – a summary

The execution of Mussolini: on 28 April 1945, Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by partisans as they tried to flee Italy.

The war was going badly for Italy, the Allies had landed in Sicily and the future looked bleak.

Mussolini’s last plea

Benito MussoliniOn July 24, 1943, at a meeting of the Fascist Grand Council, Benito Mussolini delivered an impassioned two-hour speech, exhorting his fellow fascists to put up a fight. His plea fell on deaf ears, the Council instead voting to propose peace with the Allies.

Dismissed

The following day the Italian king, Victor Emmanuel III, dismissed Mussolini, remarking, “At this moment you are the most hated man in Italy.” Mussolini was immediately arrested and imprisoned. The Italian population rejoiced.

On September 8, Italy swapped sides and joined the Allies. Italy’s wish to remain neutral was vetoed by Churchill who demanded Italy’s cooperation against the Germans as the price for the “passage back.” On October 13, 1943, Italy reluctantly declared war on Germany. Immediately, the Germans started capturing Italians as prisoners of war, shipping them to internment camps and began the targeting of Italian Jews.

The daring rescue

Continue reading