[GRAPHIC] The death of Benito Mussolini (4-28-45)

Good news. What about his pp though?

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The Pittsburgh Press (May 3, 1945)

Duce’s widow in U.S. custody

Caught while trying to flee Italy – 2 children also taken by partisans
By Aldo Forte, United Press staff writer

COMO, Italy – Rachele Mussolini, widow of the executed dictator, and two of her children were under protective custody of American authorities today after their arrest by Italian Partisans as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.

The Partisans turned her over to officers of the U.S. 1st Armored Division, saying she always had led a family life and they did not consider her a Fascist criminal.

She was placed in her sumptuous villa, Crespi, overlooking Lake Como and the Swiss Alps.

Officers told me she was arrested Sunday night with her 18-year-old son, Romano, and her daughter, Anna Maria, 16, youngest of the Mussolinis’ five children.

The three originally were placed in the Como jail, where she first learned of her husband’s execution.

Officers said that in the car in which she was trying to escape they found 12 million lire ($120,000), 1,600 grams of gold and numerous jewels.

I saw her and the children leave the villa in American custody this afternoon for an undisclosed destination.

First three zippered pigskin bags, were carried to a German-camouflaged car waiting in the villa gardens.

Then Rachele descended. She was dressed in a simple black coat, black dress and black turban and, despite the cold sunless day, was stockingless. She looked pale and depressed.

She looked much older than when I saw her in 1940 at the funeral of her son, Bruno, killed in an air crash. Her hair was completely white, she had lost weight and her face was wrinkled.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 4, 1945)

Editorial: Men go, evils survive

Mussolini is gone, spat upon, kicked in the mud like a scrap of refuse, his worn-out old body treated to obscenities that would not be inflicted upon a dead dog.

Hitler is reported dead, although the report is still unverified and the matter of his going is a subject of wide speculation and rumor.

So go the modern Caesars, just like the old ones, mangled by the mobs they once led, betrayed by the Brutuses they once embraced, and now none so poor to do them reverence.

It was not always so. In the past, many prominent people from Winston Churchill to Rep. Sol Bloom have praised Il Duce.

As the two dictators reversed their policies to suit opportunity, men changed their opinions.

Il Duce, once so noble to so many, and now so evil to us all, was the creature of events, caused by stresses and strains in the Italian economy. Hitler was made in Germany the same way. Both were interpreters and sympathizers of political trends and economic drives. It is significant that both succumbed to power as left-wingers.

There is no word but loathing for the dark chapter through which the world is moving, but it is not enough to damn these men as villains. For as these men die, the hated things for which they stood will not also conveniently die and be interred with their bones. Their evil will live after them because the evil is not theirs alone.

The evil is not only war and tyranny itself; it is in the seeds of these things; in the pride and greed and blindness to suffering; the stupidity; the complacency; the inhumanity that lets part of mankind turn away its face until itself is threatened. Certainly, that evil, in some measure, belongs to all of us.

Economists explain that Italy and Germany were societies forced to function at top capacity with purchasing power created by government debt. The economy planned and controlled by organization of both employers and workers (corporatives). They tell us that as militarism became the only course which could keep in political and economic balance the forces that had elevated the dictators, an enemy was invented, imperialism blossomed, and once more the world was bathed in blood.

Certainly, all that could happen again, but that is not the only way war could happen. The key lies in aggression and the fact that successful aggression wins popular support. It could happen whenever a people is powerful enough, and greedy enough, to gamble with war.

There is only one hope, and it is slim. That is, that the first stones of a structure of world responsibility be well laid at San Francisco. The great hope is that the peoples of the world, particularly the powerful peoples, will see to it that their governments help build on the structure so that there will finally be a world discipline strong enough to inhibit even the greatest nations.