Clara Petacci, Mussolini’s mistress, was she raped?

Clara Petacci, Mussolini’s mistress, was she raped?



Clara Petacci” was killed at the age of 33 for her love of a once powerful and admired man who everyone  abandoned except her.

It has been claimed that Petacci was raped by partisans, but did this really happen? Historically, it is difficult to reconstruct all the steps of what really happened in Giulino di Mezzegra and Dongo on the night of April 27, 1945. Over the course of time, a complicated web of lies and half-truths has emerged, misleading even the most accurate and dispassionate historians.
Certain partisans were able to rape their prisoners, as the wife of Marcello Petacci a man who was also barbarically murdered in Dongo because he was mistaken for Vittorio Mussolini, Benito’s son. Zita Ritossa, his wife, had worked as a model in South America. The eldest of their two children, Benvenuto Petacci, witnessed the death of his father and the violence to which his mother was subjected, and developed severe psychological problems.

The main political leaders of the uprising were against the display of the bodies in Piazzale Loreto. Apparently only Emilio Sereni (1907-1977) thought this was natural; it is said that he replied to the outraged US military governor of Milan, Charles Poletti: “This is how history is made. Some must not only die, but die shamefully!”.
Former Italian President Sandro Pertini saw it differently and exclaimed: “Did you see that? The uprising is dishonored!” Ferruccio Parri, inconsolable, declared: “This exhibition of Mexican butchery is terrible and unworthy: it will damage the partisan movement for years to come!”.
When Clara Petacci was hung by her feet from a gas station canopy in Piazzale Loreto, her skirt fell down, revealing her vagina, as she was not wearing panties. It was Don Pollarolo, the chaplain of the partisans, who took the initiative and secured the skirt with a safety pin that a woman had given him. This solution proved ineffective. Firefighters then intervened and tied the skirt around his legs with a rope.

This story of Petacci being naked upside down caused quite a stir and perhaps for this reason the typewritten version of events in Dongo, signed by Colonel Valerio (Walter Audisio), one of the partisans’ leader, includes the detail of the missing panties, which was to become the official version of the PCI (Italian Communist Party).
Audisio said that when he picked Clara up in the room of the De Maria house in Giulino di Mezzegra on the morning of April 28 1945 to take her with Mussolini to the scene of the shooting, she told him, “I can not find the panties,” to which he told her, “Let them off, do not think about it!” Nastily added that no panties were needed at the place she was going.
A detail that would never have appeared in a normal historical account as it is too unimportant, but which was obviously inserted to explain what was seen in Piazzale Loreto. In other words, it was not us who undressed her – so why was she without panties? Perhaps she was menstruating and had got rid of them?

Or, as has been suggested, the two had had sexual intercourse on their last night. Mussolini, a 63-year-old man surrounded by partisans with machine guns drawn, would have thought of having intercourse with his old lover? That seems highly unlikely.

The only source that speaks of the rape of Clara Petacci, many years after the events, comes from Enrico Grossi, who collected the testimony of Professor Caio Mario Cattabeni, the forensic pathologist who received the bodies of Clara and Mussolini at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Milan on April 30, 1945 to perform the autopsy.
Grossi was well acquainted with Cattabeni, who wrote a report on the autopsy and, a few months later, a report on the necropsy examination for a medical journal. Apart from this, he maintained absolute confidentiality about the impressions he had gained on this historic and, for him, very difficult day.
Enrico Grossi got to know Prof. Cattabeni in 1970 and met him by chance during a train journey. He approached him on the subject and, according to Grossi, the professor coaxed a bombshell out of him: “He told me that after the Duce’s autopsy, they began to carry out Petacci’s autopsy. Claretta’s body showed various bruises on the stomach and scratch marks on the thighs, on the inside, but also on the back. As is generally known, Petacci was not wearing panties in Piazzale Loreto. They took the woman’s body, which was already showing signs of rigor mortis, from a kind of rough box in which she was lying and placed it on a cloth. A serous fluid mixed with blood oozed from her vagina, as well as another fluid that looked like semen to him. When they laid the body on the table, the copious discharge of the fluid did not stop.'” Grossi continued, “At that point,” Cattabeni confided to me, “I received strict instructions to postpone the autopsy,” and the woman was placed back in the box and buried as she was. So much so that years later, when her body was exhumed, a large diamond was found in the brassiere she was still wearing, which she had had sewn in, as the Tsarina and her daughters had done in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

It seems strange to us that the seminal fluid and blood were still liquid after two days. Perhaps these were the remains of menstruation or lymph and the beginning of decomposition. There is one last hypothesis that has never been considered before: Sexual intercourse on the corpse in Dongo or on the Tinto Stamperia Pessina truck that transported the bodies to Milan, but this is a remote possibility.

In conclusion, I am of the opinion that Clara Petacci was not raped because there was a lack of time and events came thick and fast. We know from various sources, but above all from De Maria’s neighbor Dorina Mazzola, who was interviewed by Giorgio Pisanò, that up to 12 rifle and pistol shots were fired within 8 hours and that many people went in and out of the house.

Clara Petacci

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