You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The End Of Mussolini

The New York TimesThe End of Mussolini
The wretched end of Benito Mussolini marks a fitting end to a wretched life. Shot to death by a firing squad, together with his mistress and a handful of former Fascist leaders, the first of the Fascist dictators, the man who once boasted that he was going to restore the glories of ancient Rome, is now a corpse in a public square in Milan, with a howling mob cursing and kicking and spitting on his remains.

If his "trial" seems a bit rapid, his guilt was a thousand times beyond dispute. He himself rose to power over the corpses of Matteotti and others to whom he gave even less chance than the Italian Partisans gave him. Those who dealt with him so quickly must have had in mind, also, his previous "rescue" by the Germans in 1943; they had no wish to take another such risk. He died at last without a vestige of honor or even the pallative of a misguided "patriotism." He might have used the last as an excuse when he decided to play the jackal role and pounce upon a grievously wounded Franco or ravage his little neighbor Greece. But in his last two years, when nothing further could be accomplished by collaborating with Germany save to increase the misery and ruin of Italy that he had already brought about, he became the wretched puppet of Hitler and turned on his countrymen in the hope of saving himself.

By the final manner in which those countrymen have dealt with their former dictator, they have spared the Allies a problem.