The memoirs of Edvige Mussolini about her brother Benito are now available in English

The memoirs of Edvige Mussolini about her brother Benito are now available in English

 

Edvige Mussolini (1888-1952) occupies an important place in the book “A casa di Donna Mussolini” by Cristina Petit and Albert Szego, published by Solferino in 2023.

That is a beautiful and moving book that is selling well in Italy. It tells of the hospitality that Edvige offered to a Jewish family, the Szegos. The third tenant in this apartment was a section of the Nazi SS. But Edvige never climbed these few steps and never wrote about it.

Her brother Benito, who was informed by the fascist secret service, knew and told her: “The purity of the race in our people, over which so many invasions have passed and which has taken in so many people from the four corners of the earth, makes no sense… I know that you and other people in your family help the Jews, and I have nothing against it, and I think that in this way you can see the absolute instability of our racial laws.” In the last part of the book we read that the Szegos read Edvige’s memoirs after the end of the war, which were published posthumously under the title “My Brother Benito”.

Edvige writes: “On April 28, 1945, the anniversary of Benito Mussolini’s death, my beloved son Pino, just 20 years old, was murdered by partisans in Rovetta, in the municipality of Bergamo, and on the same day in Padua, also by partisans, the husband of my first daughter, Pier Giovanni Ricci Crisolini.”

Edvige’s memoirs had not been reprinted since 1957 and were brought back into circulation by Gingko Edizioni from Verona in Italian. It contains a lot of information about the Mussolini family and the activities of their father, Alessandro, a leading socialist who, instead of reading fairy tales to his children at the crack of dawn, read pages from “Capital” by Karl Marx”,” Nietzsche and Sorel and predicted a future as Prime Minister for his eldest son.

This is how Edvige describes her father: “Alessandro Mussolini, our father, was certainly not an ideologue or even what you would call an educated man. However, he had intellect and passion and was a true ‘proletarian’, not so much because of his economic circumstances, which experienced ups and downs, but because of his attitude towards society and the state in Italy at the time. In fact, he fought against one and the other with all his might, so to speak, because he felt himself to be a proletarian in Italy with the same mixture of deep pride and desperate rebellion with which his son, after leading the revolutionary wing of the socialist party, later felt himself to be an Italian in the world. In my opinion, these were the ‘first values’ that the father conveyed to his son: he knew very well where his tonewas peremptory and determined and where his impetus was. When he writes about his father and the socialists of the time, the ‘internationalists’ who were considered ‘delinquents to be discarded’ and who met in Alessandro Mussolini’s house to exchange ideas, affections and concerns, he has the moving accent of someone who is getting back in touch with his origins.”

Edvige does not believe that Matteotti was killed on orders from her brother, and this was even accepted by the person who was his most courageous accuser from the beginning: the journalist Carlo Silvestri. Nor does she believe in the veracity of Galeazzo Ciano’s “diaries”,” as she claims to appear in a conversation between the two that she describes as undoubtedly fabricated. It is a note dated April 13, 1942, in which Ciano speaks of a long conversation with Edvige. Ciano says that she told him about the affair with Clara Petacci and that she had proof that her family profited from this relationship, which led to a major scandal. Edvige promises to confront her brother. Another conversation between the two, dated October 29, 1942, in which Edvige says she is concerned about the internal situation and would consider it appropriate to appoint Ciano as Minister of the Interior, which he does not like. According to Edvige, these are all lies invented by Ciano. This is a book that all people interested in WWII should read.

The book is available in hardback, soft back and ebook, all on Amazon

 

Ambrose Bianchi

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