View Full Version : Mussolini.Diaries

11-17-2009, 08:07 AM
Leave it to the Herman Meister to bring you this hot news....I can't wait to read the book. It sounds GREAT!

From Toronto Sun newspaper today...
ROME -- Benito Mussolini was a fierce anti-Semite, who proudly said that his hatred for Jews preceded Adolf Hitler's and vowed to "destroy them all," according to previously unpublished diaries by the Fascist dictator's longtime mistress.

According to the diaries, Mussolini also talked about the warm reception he received from Hitler at the 1938 Munich conference -- he called the German leader a "big softy, deep down" -- and attacked Pope Pius XI for his criticism of Nazism and Fascism.

On a more intimate note, Mussolini was explicit about his sexual appetites for his mistress and said he regretted having affairs with several other women.

The diaries kept by Claretta Petacci, Mussolini's mistress, between 1932 and 1938 are the subject of a book coming out this week entitled Secret Mussolini. Excerpts were published yesterday by Italy's daily Corriere della Sera.

Historians said the diaries appeared to be convincing and reinforced the image that Mussolini was strongly anti-Semitic.

Many of the excerpts that were published date to 1938, when Mussolini's Fascist regime passed the racial laws.

"I have been a racist since 1921. I don't know how they can think I'm imitating Hitler," Mussolini is quoted as boasting in August 1938. "We must give Italians a sense of race."

Mussolini and Petacci were shot by partisans on April 28, 1945.

11-17-2009, 08:53 AM
Please include LINKS (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gT_NfdkkuArk6N_FSktgpOyr0keQD9C0QDSG0) when posting stories. Thanks in advance...

Here's the rest of the article:

Piero Melograni, a historian who has written several books on Fascism and World War II, said the excerpts were "convincing in terms of the character that emerges and therefore the authenticity of the diaries."

He said the diaries appear to strengthen the notion of a strongly anti-Semitic Mussolini, as demonstrated by the 1938 laws and several speeches. But he said the personal quotes almost "humanize" him.

Another prominent historian, Giovanni Sabbatucci, said that while he has no reason to doubt the authenticity of the diaries, he is less sure of their historical significance because they might not reflect Mussolini's real thoughts.

"We must not forget that, even when authentic, we are reading what a mistress was writing about what her lover told her," he said in a phone interview.

Sabbatucci said that while there is no doubt that Mussolini had developed a strong anti-Semitism in the later years of his life, historians are split as to when these sentiments began. The diaries appear to show he developed them earlier rather than later, but Sabbatucci was doubtful.

"We must not take for granted that she correctly wrote what she was told. And we must not take for granted that what she was told was the truth and not some lover talk," said Sabbatucci, who teaches contemporary history at Rome's Sapienza University.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.