Rome awaits return of Duce (4-28-45)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 28, 1945)

Rome awaits return of Duce

ROME, Italy (UP) – The Italian capital today eagerly awaited the return of its chief balcony performer Benito Mussolini whom patriots claimed to have captured in Northern Italy.

Confirmation of Mussolini’s arrest was still lacking, but the Italians were already planning his swansong performance in Rome – a trial for collaboration for which the penalty is death.

The Rome radio said that Mussolini and his cohorts captured with him would be tried by a people’s court. However, it was believed the United Nations War Crimes Commission might have something to say about that.

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Yeah, Mussolini is completely and utterly fucked.

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Neues Österreich (April 29, 1945)

Mussolini auf der Flucht verhaftet

Rom. 28. April – Der Generalprokurator in Rom hat gegen Mussolini Anklage erhoben und einen Haftbefehl erlassen. Mussolini wurde in Lesco am Comosee beim Versuch. Die Schweizer Grenze zu überschreiten, verhaftet. Auch Marschall Graziani und die Faschistenführer Pavolini und Farinacci sind verhaftet.

Kämpfe vor Venedig

Rom, 28. April – In Italien ist die deutsche Abwehr zusammengebrochen. Alliierte Truppen sind in Genua eingedrungen, nachdem sie von La Spezia aus in 48 Stunden 80 km weit vorgedrungen waren. Ein Großteil von Genua war bereits von den italienischen Freiheitskämpfern besetzt worden. 1.500 Mann der deutschen Flottille samt Ausrüstung haben sich gefangen gegeben.

Die 5. und 8. Armee haben die Etsch überschritten und stoßen in die Lombardische Tiefebene vor. Sie stehen am Rande der Verteidigungslinie vor Venedig.

Im Vormarsch auf Mailand hat die 5. Armee Piacenza genommen. In Mailand selbst liquidieren Freiheitskämpfer die letzten deutschen Widerstandsnester. Mailand ist beflaggt. Eine jubelnde Menschenmenge ist auf den Straßen.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 29, 1945)

Reports believed authentic –
Italian patriots seize Mussolini

One of high Fascists reported executed
Saturday, April 28, 1945

LONDON, England (UP) – Benito Mussolini has been captured and turned over to a people’s tribunal at Milan for summary justice, apparently authentic reports from Northern Italy said tonight.

Six of Il Duce’s top-flight Fascist henchmen also have fallen into the sands of Italian patriots, it was said.

Roberto Farinacci, former secretary general of the Fascist Party and one of the “tough guys” who surrounded Mussolini during his heyday, was said to have been tried and executed after his capture.

The Patriot Milan radio was chief source of information that Marshal Rodolfo Graziani (commander-in-chief of Fascist armed forces), Achille Starace (another former party secretary), Guido Buffarini Guidi (former secretary of state), Alessandro Pavolini (former secretary), and Francesco Mario Barraco (a minor official) have also been captured.

An official Allied communiqué confirmed that Graziani was a prisoner of Italian patriots but did not comment on the reported capture of the others.

A United Press dispatch from Rome said Italian government officials believed the radio reports authentic and predicted that Mussolini and his henchmen would receive speedy trial and justice, probably at Milan.

A rumor swept Rome to the effect that Farinacci had escaped from his partisan captors and this rumor grew to include the escape of Mussolini too, but responsible quarters discounted all escape rumors.

The Milan correspondent of the Zurich newspaper, Tages-Anzeiger, wrote a detailed account of Mussolini’s arrest. He said a German representative informed Il Duce last weekend at Milan that there was no chance of further resistance in Northern Italy.

Headed for Switzerland

Mussolini and the others left for the mountains of Lombardy, according to this account. However, he realized the futility of hiding in Italy and decided his only chance of escaping capture would be flight into Switzerland.

However, his party never reached the border, the correspondent said.

Arriving at the village of Nesso, Mussolini wanted to await night in order to cross Lake Como. However, a force of Italian custom guards occupied Nesso and arrested the Mussolini party despite its disguise.

Milan account differs

The Milan radio account differed. It said Mussolini was arrested at Dongo on the west shore of Lake Como, disguised as a German soldier and traveling in a German column of 30 vehicles.

Milan radio said Farinacci had been executed in the square of the municipality of Vimercate after “summary trial” and the entire population watched.

Farinacci participated in the 1922 march on Rome and was suspected of having brought about the murders of political opponents. He became a member of the Fascist Grand Council. As editor of Il Regima Fascista, he was one of Fascism’s loudest exponents and was violently anti-Semitic.

Yeah, by this point, he’d given up the ghost.

I’m pretty sure he’s hanging upside down by this point.

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