Et Tu, Brute?: The Assassination of Benito Mussolini
By Chris Oakley
Part 2 (continued from Part 1)
From the May 9th, 1936 morning edition of the Boston Globe:
DEATH TOLL IN BOLOGNA RIOTS NOW ESTIMATED AT 51
Still No Hint Whether Badoglio Government Plans To Declare Martial Law
From a CBS Radio newscast that same evening:
The mood in Rome is still extremely tense as we await the start of Italo Balbo’s trial for conspiracy to commit treason....
From the May 11th, 1936 afternoon edition of the Chicago Tribune:
GERMAN ARMY CONFIRMS MANEUVERS UNDERWAY ON AUSTRIAN BORDER
War Minister Blomberg Denies Exercises Have Anything To Do With Situation In Italy, Calls Them “Routine Training”
From the May 12th, 1936 London Times:
LEAGUE OF NATIONS CONVENES EMERGENCY MEETING
Italy To Be Principal Subject Of Special Conclave
From a Fox Movietone newsreel released two days later:
As one country, Spain, hovers on the brink of civil war, the world’s great powers express their fear another country-- Italy --may have already gone over that brink. The League of Nations continues to debate what is to be done to save the Italian people from experiencing the horrendous catastrophe of civil war....Along Italy’s border with France the French army braces itself for possible orders to intervene in the turmoil which has been plaguing the Italian government since Mussolini was assassinated...
From the May 15th, 1936 evening edition of the New York Times:
KING VICTOR EMMANUEL EN ROUTE TO GENEVA; EXPECTED TO MAKE PERSONAL APPEAL FOR LEAGUE AID
Badoglio Declares Martial Law In Most Italian Cities
From a CBS Radio newscast dated May 16th, 1936:
The League’s audience hall fell silent as a church cemetery as King Victor Emmanuel III spoke of his nation’s urgent need for international assistance in quelling the unrest that threatens to tear it apart. In halting, desperate tones the Italian monarch eloquently made his case for outside intervention in the strife which even now continues to plague the country....Back in Rome, Pietro Badoglio, premier of Italy’s emergency government, has announced that as of noon tomorrow Italian time his regime’s martial law declaration will be extended to include the city of Siena....
From the May 18th, 1936 evening edition of the Washington Post:
ISOLATIONISTS IN CONGRESS RAIL AGAINST PLAN TO SELL ARMS TO ITALY
Senator Wheeler Decries White House Proposal To Extend Military Aid To Embattled Badoglio Government
From a Columbia Pictures newsreel dated May 20th, 1936:
The Austrian government watches developments in Rome with an anxious eye, concerned that the unrest now plaguing Italy may all too easily spill over Austria’s southern border....Chancellor Schuschnigg has ordered ten thousand troops to the frontier in response to the urgent pleas of King Victor Emmanuel III for help from the outside world in restoring tranquility to his country.....
From Fallen Caesar:
The surprise is not that another world war erupted in the years following Benito Mussolini’s assassination; it is that the major European powers were able to put it off as long as they did. The potential for a new war in Europe had been considerable from the moment Hitler had assumed power in Germany in 1933, and in the wake of Mussolini’s death that potential escalated....
From a speech by Adolf Hitler before the Reichstag dated May 22nd, 1936:
Let no one in any foreign country, be they friend or foe, doubt for a moment the Reich will take whatever steps are necessary to defend her interests against any nation or group that dares to menace them....
From the May 24th, 1936 afternoon edition of the San Francisco Examiner:
GERMAN ENVOYS IN ROME AND VIENNA PLEDGE BERLIN’S AID IN ENDING UNREST IN ITALY
Schuschnigg Said To Be Doubtful Regarding Proposals For Joint German- Austrian Peacekeeping Mission To Italian Mainland
Sicily, Sardinia Believed To Be On The Verge Of Open Revolt
From the May 25th, 1936 morning edition of the Chicago Tribune: GERMAN DIPLOMAT SHOT AND KILLED IN MILAN
Consular Official Believed Victim Of Latest Wave Of Rioting In That City
From Fallen Caesar:
The death of the number two deputy at the German consulate sent Hitler into a towering rage. In a rant to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, he called the killing “tantamount to an act of war against the Reich” and vowed to burn Milan to the ground in retaliation....
From the May 25th, 1936 London Times:
P.M. BALDWIN TO LEAVE FOR BERLIN FOR CONSULTATIONS WITH HITLER
Says War In Europe Now Would Spell Catastrophe For Civilization
From a BBC Radio newscast dated May 26th, 1936:
Prime Minister Baldwin arrived in Berlin this afternoon for a conference with Chancellor Hitler which it is hoped may avert the war that now threatens to engulf all of Europe as political unrest and violence continues to plague Italy more than two months after the assassination of the late Benito Mussolini....
From the evening edition of the Boston Herald-American that same day:
FDR DECLINES COMMENT ON PROSPECTS FOR BALDWIN MISSION TO GERMANY
From Fallen Caesar:
Some historians argue the Baldwin-Hitler conference was doomed to failure from the very start, while others argue it could have been made to work had it not been for the attack on the German embassy in Rome on the third day of the summit...
From an NBC News radio broadcast dated May 29th, 1936:
The German embassy in Rome is swathed in smoke and flame at this moment....
To Be Continued