It was of course not his only lover. But it was the most important thing. The one who died next to her was shot on April 28, 75 years ago. It happened in 1945. Clara Petacci, Mussolini's lover, was 29 years younger than him. She met him in Ostia, a beach on the outskirts of Rome. He had been a dictator and married for ten years. Clara was barely 20 years old.
It is told by Oxford University historian Richard J. B. Bosworth. He wrote a biography of Clara Petacci, Mussolini's lover. “She came from a middle-class Roman family. Her father was part of Pope Pius XI's medical team. Her mother was very Catholic. But both parents have promoted the extramarital relationship. "
They met on Sundays for the fair. Then they spent Sunday afternoon having sex in Mussolini's office. Quite a villain, the dictator. But Clara was not just one of the many young and beautiful women who live the life of il Duce. There was a break in their relationship between 1934 and 1936. She married and then separated from an Air Force lieutenant. But she returned to be the main concubine of the fascist leader.
It was the only one that had its own room in the Palazzo Venezia where Mussolini set up his government. He had a bodyguard and his own driver. Despite his young age, he had a very high cultural and intellectual level. He recorded many of the conversations in his diaries. They were first released and published in 2009, which caused a sensation.
The politician Alessandra Mussolini is the granddaughter of the totalitarian leader. She said Petacci was "a stalker" and claimed to be in those newspapers. They were written between 1932 and 1938 and published under the title "Claretta Petacci, Mussolini Secreto". They describe the fascist leader's insatiable sexual appetite.
"There was a time when he had 14 women and took three or four in a row each night," he said to his young lover. The newspapers also reveal many of Mussolini's insecurities, not only as a lover but also as a guide.
According to Bosworth, many of the confidentialities that Mussolini made were concerns about his age. He was approaching 60 years ago.
Another of Mussolini's little obsessions was whether he was another Napoleon or not. Every time he said to Claretta, "I really haven't accomplished as many things as Napoleon, have I?" She assured him that it wasn't true and that he was smarter and better.
Mussolini also gave his lover details of his relationship with Hitler, whom he first met in 1934. Mussolini bragged about his relationship with his lover. leader. When he saw me there were tears in his eyes. He appreciates me very much, ”he said when he returned from the Munich conference in 1938, where it was agreed to deliver part of the territory of Czechoslovakia to Germany.
"The leader is very nice," she added, describing him as "an emotional person within".
Always by your side
Even after the fall of Mussolini in July 1943, his lover stayed by his side. They were detained for a few months. In September of this year they met in northern Italy. The fascist leader, liberated from the Nazis, established a puppet government of the Third Reich. It was the Italian Social Republic: the "Republic of Saló".
Mussolini was defeated on April 25, 1945 and fled to the Swiss border with his lover and government official. They were captured by partisans in the village of Dongo on the shores of Lake Como two days later. They were shot the following afternoon.
The bodies of the tyrant, of Clara Petacci, Mussolini's lover, and the other fascist leaders were brought to the Plaza de Loreto in nearby Milan. On April 29, they were hung on their feet.
The images of their hanging corpses, disfigured after being violently attacked by an angry crowd, went around the world. They became one of the most emblematic of the defeat of fascism.
The day after, Hitler killed himself in a bunker in Berlin and expected the end of World War II in Europe.