During 1939 to 1945, the whole world was in a mess as the Second World War was taking place. The war was started by the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis-powers which consisted of three main parties, the Nazi Party of Germany, Fascist Party of Italy and the militarists of Japan. As most of us are very familiar with Hitler of the Nazi Party and the militarists in Japan, we are going to let you all know more about Mussolini of the Fascist Party. Through this interview, we are sure that we are going to have much more understanding of the Second World War.
Reported by: Brian Kwok Hiu Shing
Simple background of Mussolini: Mussolini was born in Predappio, near Forli, in Romagna, on July 29, 1883. His father, Alessandro, was a blacksmith, and his mother, Rosa, was a school teacher. Like his father, Benito became a fervent socialist. He qualified as an elementary schoolmaster in 1901. In 1902 he immigrated to Switzerland. Unable to find a permanent job there and arrested for vagrancy, he was expelled and returned to Italy to do his military service. After further trouble with the police, he joined the staff of a newspaper in the Austrian town of Trento in 1908. At this time he wrote a novel, subsequently translated into English as The Cardinal's Mistress.
Simple chronology of what he did: Mussolini was the fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 until his overthrow in 1943. Mussolini became a close ally of German dictator Adolf Hitler, whom he influenced. Mussolini entered the war in June, 1940 on the side of Nazi Germany. Three years later, the Allies invaded Italy. In April 1945 Mussolini attempted to escape to Switzerland, instead of that, he and his
concubine were captured and executed by Communist
What we have discussed: Reporter: Good morning, Mr. Mussolini.
Mussolini: Same to you guys. Mussolini and his concubine were hung.
Reporter: Won’t you mind me asking you a few questions?
Most of us knew very few about the Fascist Party
which you were in charge of, could you introduce it to us?
Mussolini: It’s okay. The party’s name came from the Italian word fascio, which refered to radical political groups of many different orientations. It was founded in Rome on November 7, 1921, it marked the transformation of the paramilitary Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, which I founded earlier in Milan, into a more coherent political group. It was instrumental in directing and popularizing support for my ideology. The party clearly won the highly controversial elections of April 1924. Law passed in 1928 made it the only legal party of the country. However, the party was dissolved upon my arrest after the coup inside the Grand Fascist Council on July 24 1943. The party was then officially banned by Pietro Badoglio's government on July 27. After the Nazi-engineered Unternehmen Eiche liberated me in September, the party was revived as the Republican Fascist Party, as the single party of the Northern and Nazi-protected Italian Social Republic. The party’s secretary was Alessandro Pavolini. Even then, the party failed to outlast my execution and the disappearance of the Salò state in April 1945.
Reporter: As we checked the political history of Italy, we found that you had signed the Steel Pact with Hitler, I want to know whether why you didn’t signed the pact at the first time he invited you, but to sign it at about a year later?
Mussolini: It was due to a failed trick. At first, I didn’t sign the pact with Hitler at once is because I am afraid that my country’s fortune would be tightly related to the German’s rise or fall. However, after a year, I found Germany quite sucessful as she had defeated France within a year. Thus I had plan, as Germany was so strong, I could follow her, let
her to clear out all the enemies. After that, I could
wait for the natural break down of Germany
as many countries broke down after they turned into
power, if she really falls, I could be the last winner
in the battle.
Reporter: I’m really curious about why you followed Hitler’s
way in expressing your aggressions. Why don’t you
do it in your way but to follow him? Mussolini (left) and Hitler (right)
Mussolini: At first I was supported by the Liberals in parliament. With their help I introduced strict censorship and altered the methods of election so that I was able to assume dictatorial powers and dissolve all other political parties. But, this is not enough for me. I was actually very eager in annexing Malta, Corsica, and Tunis. I hoped to create a "New Roman Empire" that would stretch east to Palestine and south through Libya and Egypt to Kenya. However, these could not come true as I had less support. In the meanwhile, I found Hitler, the head of the German Nazi Party, a good companion of mine. We had similar ambitions, and he was even a sucessful man in running totalitarianism. I found him a perfect role model for me to learn to expand my controlling area.
Reporter: Then I have another question. In some aspects, the Second World War was totally none of Italy’s business. I would like to know why did you desided to join the Second World War?
Mussolini: As I have mentioned a while ago, at that time, I was following Hitler on many aspects. One of main reasons was that I followed Hitler’s decision, as we were allies, I must support him for his actions. Another main reason was that I had over estimated the chance to win the Central Powers. At that time, as Germany defeated France in a year, I supposed she could also defeat the Britain in a very short time too, so that I could get benefits from them. Hitler and I even insisted the war could be finished upon 1940. However, the truth turned out to be an unwanted surprise for us.
Reporter: Okay, I got your meaning… I guess I’ve one more question
for you. Actually, at the very messy moment, what were the
main factors forced you to step down?
Mussolini: It was simply due to the opposition of the wimps. Why
couldn’t they realise the importance of the war? The war is
related to our country’s benefit and prestige! I could hardly
understand why they kept on saying that I wasted too much
money on the warfare, they even claimed that our country
was going to be bankrupt. Ha! What a joke! None of them
were willing to help at that time. People were unsupportive
in fighting our enemies. Even the members in the Fascist
Party and the Royalty members were against the war. How Unhappy Mussolini after
come it happens! However, honestly, there was one thing stepping down
that I’ve to admit. The situation at that time was really bad.
Instead of defeating the Central Powers, they started invasions in my land. This had greatly affected our fighting morale…
Reporter: So I can see you are still very unhappy with it. Anyway, thank you very much for attending this interview with me, Mr. Mussolini. I bet our readers, as well as my own self, have had more understanding to what happened in the Second World War. Hope that we would still have another chance to conduct interview with you.
Mussolini: Oh, this is my pleasure!
Reporter Brian Kwok (left) and Benito Mussolini (right)