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Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini - Controversial Italian dictator: Life, end and aftermath.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: WW2 Italian Campaign, Fascist Italy, World War II in North Africa.

14 Things You Didn't Know About Benito Mussolini
Born in 1883, Benito Mussolini was a problem child. He was in constant trouble for fighting and bullying other children, which eventually escalated to assault with a deadly weapon. He was expelled from not one but two schools for stabbing other children, one a fellow classmate at a church-affiliated boarding school and the other his own girlfriend. Mussolini led gangs of neighborhood boys who raided area farms and local businesses and even disrupted church services by pinching, poking, and inflicting pain on random members of the congregation.

Inside Mussolini`s 2-mile bunker, the largest in Europe
Nearly three miles long and burrowed out of more than 10,000 square feet of rock, this gigantic underground bunker built by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is one of the most impressive WWII structures. The Mount Soratte tunnel complex, 27 miles north of Rome, was not only Europe's largest bunker but also one of the most mysterious - surrounded by rumours it still contains 75 tonnes of Nazi gold hidden by its later German occupiers. After Italy made peace with the allies on September 8th, 1943, the Germans invaded and took over the bunker as the headquarters of the Werhrmacht under the leadership of Field General Albert Kesserling.

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Photos: Inside Mussolini's secret bunker
In order to provide shelter to party leaders during World War II, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini built several secret bunkers under the city of Rome. Now, many of those bunkers open to the public for the first time. This bunker was a 55 m (180 ft) long converted wine cellar, deep beneath Mussolini's residence, Villa Torlonia, which housed the dictator and his family from 1925 to 1943. Mussolini ordered its construction in 1940, fearing his house would become the target of an Allied bombardment. The bunker had 3 escape routes and was quipped with a double set of steel, gas-proof doors, and a sophisticated air filtering system that could provide oxygen for 15 people for 3-6 hours. Later, Mussolini decided to build another bunker, and then a third, which was still unfinished by the time he was arrested in 1943.

Photos: Exploring Mussolini's Secret Bunkers - Villa Torlonia now offer tours inside the dictator's hideouts
A typical visit to the Villa Torlonia in Rome involves a picnic and a stroll along pine and palm tree-dotted grounds. Now tourists can also explore the secret hiding grounds beneath their feet that Il Duce built for himself. Built in the early 20th century, the Villa Torlonia housed Benito Mussolini and his wife and children from 1925 to 1943. In 1940, one year into World War II, the Italian dictator had an old wine cellar at his Neo-Classical estate turned into an air-raid shelter. Since a trip from the mansion to the former wine cellar involved a brief sprint outside, Mussolini also ordered construction of a separate bunker, connecting to an underground kitchen that sealed itself off with anti-gas, double-steel doors. A third bunker, 20 feet underground, was still being built at the time of the dictator's removal from office.

First pictures of Mussolini's secret bunker built to protect him from RAF strike on his Rome headquarters
Pictures of Benito Mussolini's last wartime bunker that he built to protect him from an RAF bomb attack have been released for the first time. The reinforced concrete cell, constructed 50ft below the fascist headquarters in Rome, was so secret it was not discovered until 2011. Historians think Mussolini had the bunker built for himself and his mistress Claretta Petacci. The 9 room chamber was located so that it could be accessed within seconds of an attempted assassination attempt. It is due to be opened to the public for the first time, two years after it was discovered under the building, which is now a museum.

A suitcase of Mussolini clothes allegedly taken after 1945 capture being auctioned   (Article no longer available from the original source)
An Army corporal stationed in Italy acquired a suitcase of war booty, sent it home and stowed in his bedroom closet in upstate New York for 65 years. In it: Il Duce's clothes. The suitcase was purported to have been taken from Benito Mussolini when the Fascist dictator and his mistress, Claretta Petacci, were captured by partisans in April 1945 as they tried to flee Italy. The family of Paul Moriconi said he acquired the suitcase from his supervisor, Col. Charles Poletti, a regional commissioner for the Allied military government in Italy. The memorabilia - a gray gabardine military tunic, matching riding pants, a khaki Italian military shirt and a rust-colored woolen dress - is being auctioned by Greg Martin Auctions/Heritage Auctions.

Letter claims: Benito Mussolini had affair with Italy's last queen Maria José
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was a womanizer, recording a string of mistresses while forging an empire in Africa. But a newly-discovered letter suggests that Il Duce's sexual conquests reached to the very top of the Italian establishment, to a princess who became the country's last queen. The revelation that Mussolini had an affair with Queen Maria Jose of Savoy in the 1930s is surprising because the Belgian-born monarch was a critic of fascism. Evidence of the alleged affair has emerged from a letter, which was written by the dictator's youngest, Romano Mussolini, to an Italian journalist in 1971. The letter remained unknown until it was found by the journalist's son, who was sorting through his father's archives.

Churchill ordered assassination of Mussolini to protect letters in which Churchill praised Fascism?
French historian Pierre Milza, author of The Last Days of Mussolini, speculates that Winston Churchill may have wanted Benito Mussolini dead to prevent the letters, in which Churchill expressed his admiration for Fascism, to be found. Churchill once said: "Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world..." Despite wearing German officer uniform in a mixed Italian and SS convoy, Mussolini - and his mistress Clara Petacci - were seized by Italian partisans near Dongo on Lake Como. In a 2004 documentary film partisan Bruno Lonati stated he was part of a 2-man team tasked by British SOE to eliminate the couple.

Do not open until 2025: Mussolini ordered his diaries to be sealed for 80 years?
Rocco Della Morte - son of Guglielmo Della Morte, a WW2 Italian consul in Berlin - said that Benito Mussolini gave his father a locked suitcase. "My father told me that he was called to Milan in April 1945 by Mussolini and given a suitcase. He was then told by Il Duce that it should not be opened until 2025. My father assumed that it was diaries and documents..." Della Morte, now 74, has made an arrangement for the opening of the suitcase. Historian Mariano Vigano said: "They may well be genuine but until they are examined we should be very careful." Previous claims about Mussolini diaries have turned out to be fake.

Britain planned to kill Benito Mussolini at his headquarters with a raid by the RAF's Dambusters squadron
Air Marshal Arthur "Bomber" Harris suggested using the 617 Squadron to fly over Rome at "roof-top level" and bomb Il Duce's headquarters to kill him, files in the National Archives at Kew reveal. The operation had the approval of Anthony Eden, who wrote to Winston Churchill on 13 July 1943: "Harris has asked permission to try to bomb Mussolini in his office in Rome and his residence simultaneously in case the Duce is late that morning." Mussolini's HQs, the Palazzo Venezia, and his private residence Villa Torlonia were both "unmistakeable". But within 2 weeks Mussolini was expelled by the Grand Council of Fascism.

The Woman Who Shot Mussolini by Frances Stonor Saunders (book review)
At 10.58am on April 7 1926, Benito Mussolini saluted a crowd in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. At that moment, a woman shot him at point-blank range. The first bullet touched lightly Il Duce's nose, releasing a torrent of blood; the second jammed in the pistol chamber. Violet Gibson - an Anglo-Irish aristocrat - had just come closer than anyone else to assassinating Mussolini. She had shaped history, but not in the way she planned: Sympathy for Mussolini increased. Gibson escaped from the mob's fury: unlike Anteo Zamboni, who he was lynched, strangled, knifed and shot after firing his revolver at Mussolini.

A collection of speeches by Benito Mussolini become iTunes hit in Italy
An iPhone application containing 100 of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini's speeches has become the second most wanted item in Italy. The app, iMussolini, is available on Apple's on line store for 79 euro cents. The Mussolini app has climbed from 55 hits a day to over 1,000. It contains speeches and video from 1914 before Mussolini came to power and on into 1938 at the height of his rule. The application is illustrated with a traditional profile black and white image of il Duce with the words words "iMussolini - the man who changed the history of our country."

Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini's brain and blood for sale online
The granddaughter of Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has said that blood and parts of his brain have been stolen to sell online. Alessandra Mussolini, a former showgirl turned MP, said she immediately informed the police when she learned about the case. The listing, on auction site Ebay, showed pictures of a wooden container and ampoules of blood. Ebay said that the listing was removed within hours and before anyone had made any bids. After Benito Mussolini was killed in 1945 his body was put on public display in a Milan square. It was then taken to the hospital for an autopsy. However, doctors claim that the remains were destroyed in the years that followed.

Clara Petacci's diary reveals: Benito Mussolini thought Adolf Hitler was very nice, a big softy
The dairies (1932-1938) kept by Benito Mussolini's mistress Claretta (Clara) Petacci are finally published in book Secret Mussolini. "I have been a racist since 1921. I don't know how they can think I'm imitating Hitler," Mussolini boasted in August 1938. "These disgusting Jews, I must destroy them all," he said in October 1938. Mussolini had kind words for Adolf Hitler, whom he said was "very nice" and had tears in his eyes when he met the Italian dictator in Munich. "Hitler is a big softy, deep down," Mussolini told Petacci on Oct. 1, 1938. Mussolini was explicit about his desire for his mistress and felt sorry for having affairs with several other women.

Documents reveal: Italian dictator Benito Mussolini got paid weekly by MI5 in 1917
History depicts Benito Mussolini as a founder member of the original Axis of Evil, the Italian dictator who made a fateful alliance with Nazi Germany. But a previously unknown secret of Il Duce's CV has come to light: his career as a British agent. Documents revealed that Mussolini got his start in politics in 1917 with the help of a £100 weekly wage from MI5 - authorized by Sir Samuel Hoare (who later became Lord Templewood). Historian Peter Martland, who discovered details of the deal, said: "Mussolini was paid £100 a week from the autumn of 1917 for at least a year to keep up the pro-war campaigning."

Vincere: Film explores Benito Mussolini's secret mistress and love-child
Mussolini's mistress and love child come to life in film "Vincere" - which depics how the dictator hide the mother and child who could have put a stop on his rise to power. In 1914 Mussolini belonged to the Socialist Party and lived in Milan with Rachele Guidi, who would later become his wife. But he had several affairs, including with Ida Irene Dasler, who supported him when he was expelled by the Party for backing Italy's entry into WWI. Some say the couple married in 1914, but this is disputed. Two works - Mussolini's Wife by Marco Zeni and The Secret Son of Il Duce by Alfredo Pieroni - inspired the film.

Mussolini's hometown finally bans sale of fascist souvenirs and militaria
Mussolini's hometown has banned the sale of daggers, cudgels and other fascist militaria relating to the dictator after years of benefitting from admirers and tourists. Crowds who travelled to Predappio - many skinheads and black-shirted supporters of Italy's far-right - visit Mussolini's stone mausoleum, presided over by a stern-looking marble bust of Il Duce. They then tour shops offering a large selection of fascist-themed memorabilia, from swastika-decorated knives and beer bottles with Mussolini's portrait to flags, SS insignia and CDs of fascist-era songs.

Benito Mussolini's World War II bunker in Rome transformed into art gallery
The bunker that fascist dictator Benito Mussolini built in the EUR neighbourhood in Rome will be used as an art gallery where artists will show their work. Il Duce had workers build under his private residence in Villa Torlonia, and under his office at Venice Palace, two of the largest underground enclosures in Rome, apart from the bunker at EUR. Located under the "Palazzo degli Uffici", built by Il Duce as the site for Rome's World Fair in 1942 (which never took place because of the war), the construction of the bunker was solicited by Mussolini himself to protect workers and high ranking officials in the building.

History Detectives: The case of the Benito Mussolini's dagger
Benito Mussolini's dagger was at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum recently. But was it really the dagger of the Italian fascist leader? That's the historical mystery the tv show History Detectives was exploring. The dagger is owned by Jerry Steichen, who got it from his uncle, Clarence Farber. Farber was in the U.S. Army assigned to worked in military government. He was tasked to set up police forces in Italy, and later sent to Milan to clean out Mussolini's flat, where he discovered his dagger and took it as a WW2 souvenir. The dagger has the symbols of Italian Fascism, and there's an "M" engraved on the belt clip (taken with the dagger).

Domenico Leccisi, Italian fascist who stole Benito Mussolini's corpse, dies
The Italian fascist notorious for organizing the theft of Benito Mussolini's corpse has died. Domenico Leccisi -- who wrote an autobiography "With Mussolini Before and After Piazzale Loreto" -- excavated the dictator's unmarked grave in April 1946. "Leccisi was a fascist of the era, and he died a fascist. He never changed his ideas. His entire career was lived in the name of Il Duce," said his daughter-in-law Maria del Canto Merida. Communist partizans killed Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci in April 1945. On the eve of the first anniversary of Italy's liberation, Leccisi and two helpers dug up the corpse and carried it away, leaving behind a note.

For sale: Benito Mussolini's 14-inch-long black and silver dagger with 2 eagle symbols   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Jerry Steichen says the time is right to auction off an old knife that has been in his family long enough. But this isn't just any knife: It's a personalized dagger of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. The 14-inch-long black and silver dagger, which has two eagle symbols carved on it, is covered with a sheath that includes the letter M in gold. It was given by the Italians to Clarence Farber, Steichen's uncle who was in charge of the military police in Italy near the war's end. "It's a piece of history, so it shouldn't be locked up in a safety deposit box."

Court denies bid for Benito Mussolini probe
Italy's highest appeals court has rejected an attempt by dictator Benito Mussolini's grandson Guido Mussolini to get a ruling on the dictator's 1945 execution, saying that there is no reason to reopen a probe into the shooting death of the Fascist leader at the hands of partisans in 1945. Guido Mussolini says the statute of limitations cannot be applied because "it wasn't an ordinary homicide but the killing of a head of state in violation of laws covering prisoners of war." Guido claims footage of his grandfather's death is being kept in a private archive in Washington.

Benito Mussolini museum opened - Requested by German tourists
The museum in SalÚ, on the shores of Lake Garda, studies the last days of fascism in the town that Mussolini used as his HQ in the last 19 months of WWII. The Republic of SalÚ was set up by the Nazis after german paratroopers liberated Mussolini from prison in Gran Sasso in 1943. From here Il Duce spent his time suppressing partisans, even executing his own son-in-law Galeazzo Ciano. History professor Roberto Chiarini denied that the museum would boost nostalgia for Italy's fascist era. "Until now there were more than 70 historical institutes... devoted to partisans but not one that looked at SalÚ."

Alfa Romeo sports car of Benito Mussolini may fetch £1m
An Alfa Romeo sports car that belonged to Benito Mussolini is awaited to get £1 million at auction. Mussolini had the 100mph dark red 2-seater 6C 2300 Pescara Spyder built in 1935. He had the engine tuned from 68bhp to 95bhp and it was driven in the 1936 Mille Miglia, the road endurance race round Italy, by Mussoliniís chauffeur, the former Alfa Romeo test driver Ercole Boratto. The auctioneer H&H Classic Auctions has laid an estimate of £600,000-£800,000 on the car.

Mussolini and the rise of fascism, by Donald Sassoon
Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy in 1922 by marching into Rome at the head of a vast column of armed "blackshirts". But Donald Sassoon says it wasn't like that. Most of the fascists got in Rome by special trains. The ones who did march were a rain-soaked gang with hardly a weapon among them, and who could have been easily stopped by the army. Some of them might have starved to death if they hadn't been fed by soldiers. And far from sharing the hardships, Benito Mussolini, an MP, was whisked by limousine to the palace where King Victor Emmanuel III declared him in as head of a coalition, not a fascist, govt.

A collection of papers belonging to Churchill and Mussolini for sale
A collection of 22 documents and photos of war leaders Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini are to go under the hammer in Edinburgh on January 16. Other items for sale include a 1929 telegram sent to Italian dictator Mussolini from Campertogno mayor Mose Valenti, detailing public support for the fascist leader after the signing of the Lateran Treaties in Rome, by which he gave power over the Vatican City back to the Pope. A rare, signed wartime photo of Churchill by Walter Stoneman will also go under the hammer, likely to attract the interest of collectors and could make over £1500.

Benito Mussolini's grandson pursues case of partisan "execution"
Benito Mussolini's grandson Guido vowed to take his case to an international court after an Italian judge shelved a inquiry into the death of the fascist dictator. He doubts official World War II accounts that Mussolini was executed by a partisan fighter. Guido filed his complaint in August 2006. Resistance accounts say Mussolini was executed "in the name of the Italian people" by partisan Walter Audisio near Lake Como. But the resistance fighter Urbano Lazzaro who captured Mussolini said in 1995 that the dictator and Petacci had been dead for 4 hours when their partisan "execution" took place.

Notes From Italy: Looking Back at Mussolini
Benito Mussolini, the Duce, the great Leader, died ingloriously in 1945. Many remember the photos of the mutilated bodies of Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci hanging upside down. He was in retrospect a fool. But in the 1920s and even into the 1930s, many leaders paid honor to the Duce as a wise leader. When Mussolini waged barbaric war against Libyan nationalists in 1927, Winston Churchill said he rendered a service to the whole world. Richard Washburn Child, American ambassador to Italy when Mussolini took power, later ghostwrote Mussoliniís "autobiography," praising him in the preface as a man who, had created a new state with a dynamic program.

WWII Nurse watched as mob hung Mussolini's mistress Clara Petacci   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Cardross residents are mourning the death of a War heroine Meg Brown - natural historian described by those who knew her as "a truly remarkable woman". She became a Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nurse, serving in France, Africa, and Italy during WWII. She nearly drowned when a boat she was travelling in was hit by a torpedo. She also spent time in an Italian POW camp, and watched as an angry mob hung Benito Mussoliniís mistress, Clara Petacci, up by her ankles. She was awarded 5 medals for bravery, including the Geroge IV Medal, and received a letter of commendation from the King for her War efforts.

Reconsidering Mussolini - Fascist past: movies and memorabilia   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A slew of new films and memorabilia are prompting Italians to take a closer look at their Fascist past. Dictator Benito Mussolini lived in the Villa Torlonia 1925-1943. The decision to restore it in the image of a pro-Nazi Fascist reflects a growing fascination with Il Duce. Visitors are snapping up uniforms and flags with Fascist insignias from the Villa Mussolini Museum. Souvenir stores are opening offering DVDs of his most famous speeches. In Predappio, where 400 volunteers have long taken turns standing as honor guards at his tomb, the number of black-shirted Fascist sympathizers who turned out to celebrate the March on Rome rose to 6,000.

Il Duce still rules in the hearts of some Italians
Last Friday I was entertained to dinner at a restaurant in the town of Artena, 25 miles south-east of Rome. The service, the wine - all were impeccable. Yet we were uneasy, for it was apparent that we were dining in what amounted to a shrine to Benito Mussolini. All around us were memorabilia; the walls were festooned with photographs of the dictator. Our hosts are not and never have been fascists or fascist sympathisers. Historian Dennis Mack Smith has pointed out that for the long period in which Mussolini ruled the country before World War II, he attracted more popular admiration than anyone else in the Italian history.

Mussolini Grandson Digs Into Dictator's Past, Opens Old Wounds
Who killed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini? His grandson Guido is determined to answer the question, at the risk of reigniting divisions over the country's fascist past. More than six decades after Mussolini was shot near Lake Como, Guido has asked an Italian court to open a probe into who decided that Il Duce should be executed on April 28, 1945. He took the legal action after discovering the existence of a 3-minute film of the shooting almost a year ago. "I want to know who, what, where, when and why" - There are at least 19 versions of Il Duce's death, Guido Mussolini said.

Dictatorsí Downfall - Hearts of Darkness: Adolf Hilter, Mussolini
"Hearts of Darkness Part 7a" focused on the rise of two of the most notorious figures in the 20th century. While Adolf Hitlerís and Benito Mussoliniís regimes differed in the speed with which each achieved total power, the two leaders had exuded similar messianic pretensions. Once in control, they accepted the divinity their adoring publics granted them. What had taken Benito Mussolini 3 years took Adolf Hitler a mere 3 months. The FŁhrerís regime seemed to arrive fully developed early in 1933. Historian Fritz Stern: "In 90 days, a one-party state had been established." The Duce had only gradually achieved his totalitarian state.

Diaries by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini are fakes?   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Newly discovered diaries written by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in the run up to World War II are fakes, says magazine L'Espresso. It was offered the diaries in Nov 2004 but turned them down because they were bogus. "Wrong names, grammatical errors, chronological discrepancies, inconsistencies and inaccuracies. There are good reasons to doubt that the author of these five was Benito Mussolini," said historian Emilio Gentile, who verified the diaries. Senator Marcello Dell'Utri stood by his assertion that the books were real. When published they would show the human face of the man who took Italy into an alliance with Adolf Hitler, he said.

Private diaries show fascist dictator Mussolini opposed going to war
Five volumes of private diaries kept by Benito Mussolini in the run up to World War II show the fascist dictator was against going to war. "They were kept in a house by someone who has recently died. He was a partisan who arrested Mussolini and took possession of some of the things the Duce was carrying." The diaries contain daily entries by Mussolini 1935-1939 in the run-up to the war which Mussolini joined on the side of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. "We cannot and we must not take up arms, which in any case we don't have," Mussolini is quoted as writing. Several historians doubts over the authenticity of the diaries.

Mussolini's historic Roman villa restored to glory
The historic villa that was the home of Benito Mussolini when he was the Duce of Italy has been reopened to the public after 30 years of restoration. The 9 buildings and gardens of the Villa Torlonia, which were built in the 19th century by the Torlonia princes, will now house an art museum dedicated to the Roman school of 20th-century painting. The villa was taken over by Allied occupying forces at the end of World War 2 and was occupied by the Anglo-American military command, whose soldiers did damage to the decor. It later suffered years of neglect, becoming a haven for vandals, as Mussoliniís legacy remained controversial.

Italy confronts its demons with debate over burial of Mussolini
The clan of Benito Mussolini, Italy's dictator for 20 disastrous years, was locked in tense meetings as a new argument broke over the fate of Il Duce's remains. If it is decided that Mussolini should leave the crypt the town of Predappio might heave a sigh of relief - or not: "The presence of Mussolini is vital to the town," said Nicholas Farrell, the author of a biography of the dictator. During the 84th anniversary of Mussolini's "March on Rome", 6,000 black-shirted Fascist sympathisers visited the town to pay their respects - and buy items most countries banned long ago: flags, caps and other WW2 militaria emblazoned with Fascist, Nazi and SS symbols.

Controversial finale moments of Italian fascist dictator Mussolini   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The grandson of Benito Mussolini has lodged a legal request to exhume the body of Italy's fascist dictator to find out how Il Duce really died. WWII resistance accounts say he was executed by a partisan fighter "in the name of the Italian people." Partisans found Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci and high officials hidden in a retreating column of Nazi troops. They say the execution took place at the gates of a Lake Como villa. Urbano Lazzaro, who captured Mussolini, said that both had been dead for 4 hours when their "execution" took place, citing that the couple died some way from the reputed site when Petacci tried to grab a gun.

Mussolini loses honorary citizenship after 82 years   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Council members in the largely German-speaking Italian village of Montagna voted to take away the honorary citizenship given Benito Mussolini in 1924. It's not known why he was awarded citizenship or if he ever even visited Montagna, or "Montan" in German. The province of Alto Adige, where Montagna is located, had been named "Sued Tirol" before WWI when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Mussolini subjected the area to "Italian-ization" in which the names of 8,000 German towns were translated into Italian. Most locals, however, still use the German names.

Mussolini's villa, secret bunker go on display
Villa Torlonia, the 19th-century Villa of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, opens to the public for the first time, allowing visitors to see his elegant frescoes, intricate chandeliers and his hidden bunkers and anti-gas chamber. Mussolini, who lived lavishly and entertained guests at the Rome residence, built the underground chambers to protect himself and his family from possible air raids. Mussolini dug the bunker 23 feet deep, burying a 10-foot thick concrete box with bare cylindrical corridors and multiple escape routes.

Last surviving child of Benito Mussolini dies   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Romano Mussolini, the last surviving child of Italy's Fascist wartime dictator Benito Mussolini, died in a Rome hospital following recent heart surgery. The youngest of Benito and Rachele Mussolini's five children, he was considered one of Italy's best jazz musicians. In 2004 he published a memoir, "Il Duce, my father," using the Italian word for 'leader' which his followers called the dictator for 20 years until he was killed by partisans at the end of WW2. In the book, Mussolini painted an affectionate portrait of his father and his mistress Clara Petacci, who was executed with him in 1945. "For me, 90% of what my father did as a man and as a politician was positive.".

Urbano Lazzaro - Man who captured Mussolini dies
The World War II resistance fighter who captured Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as he tried to escape Allied forces died overnight. Urbano Lazzaro stormed into Italy's history books on April 27, 1945, when he halted a Nazi truck in the village of Dongo and discovered Il Duce disguised as a Nazi soldier inside. Lazzaro then found Mussolini's mistress, Clara Petacci, and high officials of his rump fascist republic hidden in the retreating column of Nazi troops headed for Switzerland.

Book: The Mussolini syndrome   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Luigi Barzini: Mussolini was constantly shielded from anything negative by those around him so that he became the victim of make believe and illusion. The cities Mussolini visited had been carefully prepared a long time before his arrival: he was shown only the things and the people that would please and comfort him. He did not know that some of the new buildings he opened were abandoned and began decaying the following day, that some of the aqueducts never carried water. The technique was so smooth that it even deceived Hitler. Preparations for his visit in 1938 went on for six months.

Mussolini - Car for sale and recent evaluations
Mussolini's 1939 Lancia Astura will be auctioned for charity. In recent years some historians have suggested that Mussolini was a relatively Pleasant dictator whose achievements were overshadowed by his errors. The Villa Torlonia on Via Nomentana in Rome, is being restored by Rome city council as a museum. The project has been backed by Romano Mussolini, 78, who recently published an affectionate memoir of his father. The Duceís villa on Lake Garda is now a luxury hotel, and in July his villa at Riccione, on the Adriatic Coast, opened as as a museum after a restoration costing £680,000.