OPINION

August 31, 1957

MUSSOLINI: Rome, 30 – This afternoon the remains of Benito Mussolini were handed over to his widow, Rachele, in a service at a cemetery near Predappio, the burial place of the Italian dictator’s parents, Alessandro and Rosa, and his son Bruno who died in the war during a test flight of a bomber aircraft. Mussolini was arrested in April 1945 by a partisan group and was executed on April 28 on the banks of Lake Como. Heading the group that executed Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci was «Colonel Valerio,» the leader of a communist guerrilla group, whose real name was Walter Audisio, and was later elected to parliament. The bodies were taken to Milan where they were hung upside down for three days in the Piazza Loreto until the leader of the Allied military command stepped in to have them taken down. Mussolini’s body was buried in an unmarked grave in a Milan cemetery. Despite the secrecy, former fascists discovered the burial site and in 1946 Domenico Lecissi, later elected to parliament with the neo-fascist Italian Social Party, stole the body and hid it in a Milan monastery until it was discovered by the police.