Sample DP IAs on Fascist Italy

Sample DP IAs on Fascist Italy

To What Extent can the GAP Members Behind the Via Rasella Attack be Considered Responsible for the Ardeatine Massacre?

Word Count: 2165

Via Rasella then and now. It was here on March 23, 1944, that the Gruppi di Azione Patriottica bombed members of the 11th company of the 3rd battalion of the Polizeiregiment "Bozen", a military unit of the German Ordnungspolizei recruited in the largely ethnic-German South Tyrol, during the de facto German annexation of the region. The attack killed 32 men and left roughly 110 wounded including two civilians. The attack angered Hitler so much that he ordered “an immediate reprisal to shake the world”, asking Kesselring, supreme commander of the German forces in Italy, to destroy the entire neighbourhood and to kill from thirty to fifty Italians for every dead German. Later that day, it was decided to execute ten Italians for each German. The reprisal took place on the following day at the Ardeatine Caves. Today, no plaque remembers the Via Rasella attack, in some aspects a crucial event for the history of the occupation and for the fight to liberate Italy. Some houses and a palace, at the crossing with Via del Boccaccio, still have plenty of bullet holes on their façades, reminding of the panic of the German soldiers, who opened fire all around, unable to understand where the attack came from and what was happening.


Identification and Evaluation of Two Sources (638 words) 

To What extent Can the men behind the Via Rasella Attack be considered responsible for the Ardeatine Massacre? This question has been subject to numerous debates, being regarded as one of the most evident emblems of Italy’s discord in the matter of historical memory.1 Here the dispute will focus on the view of the Vatican Church which strongly criticises the attack, labelling the men as criminals, and the political left who hail them instead as heroes who could have done nothing to stop the Massacre. 

Source 1: Osservatore Romano, 26 March 1944 

This article published only two days after the massacre by the Vatican Church has exceptional value as it offers the Church’s view of the attack, which was very powerful at the time and unarguably shaped the opinion of many Italians on this event. The article strongly condemns the attack, going as far as labelling the GAP members as irresponsible individuals who did not respect human life2. It was from this article that the widely accepted narrative of the GAP members being terrorists and responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Italians originated. This article was also responsible for creation of the myth that the GAP members could have prevented the massacre had they turned themselves in to the Germans. Although this was later proven false, it is still crucial to take this source into consideration as much of the controversy and debates over this topic can be traced down to the publishing of this article. The main limitation of the source therefore is the bias it holds against the GAP members, as it begins with the very statement that victims were sacrificed due to the ‘culprits who escaped arrest’, leaving no room for debate despite not providing any evidence to support this claim. However, this could perhaps also be viewed as a value of the source, as such a powerful institution having about the culpability of the GAP members would reflect that of many Italians at the time, giving a clear picture of what the initial reaction to the attack was. Another important limitation of the source is undoubtedly the hasty manner with which the article was published, very much giving the impression that its only aim was to blame GAP members rather than providing any accurate and useful information. 

Source 2: Alessandro Portelli, L’ ordine è già stato eseguito 

Portelli’s book, published in 1999, offers a much more balanced and perhaps convincing argument based on hundreds of interviews of people who experienced the attack first hand, conducted by Portelli himself. The book tends to argue that the GAP members were in fact not completely responsible for the attack, exposing numerous myths which have been created through the years. Arguably the greatest value of this book to the investigation is its purpose, as it centred around questions such as “What was the significance of the Ardeatine Massacre?”3; this is of course very closely linked to the research question and therefore the book contains very relevant and accurate information which will be key for this investigation. However, this source does not come without its limitations, the first being Portelli’s political orientation, which he does not make secret in his book and even admits himself it inevitably influenced his opinion on the event. This is because the author is very strongly left wing, therefore he is unlikely to extensively criticise the actions of the GAP members who were also left wing, this without mentioning that he would strongly be opposed to the opinion of the Church. Another significant limitation to consider is the nature of the research conducted by Portelli, this is because the book is in great part based on oral accounts and interviews. Therefore, Portelli could have chosen to only include parts of the interviews which backed his claims or even slightly altered the words used by the people interviewed, changing the meaning to something more convenient to his argument.

Investigation (1158words)
The Via Rasella Attack took place on March 23,1944 in Rome, led by eleven members of the Patriotic Action Groups (GAP) against the 11th company of the 3rd battalion of the Polizei Regiment Bozen4, comprising 156 Germans marching through Via Rasella. It involved the explosion of a bomb placed by the GAP members in response to the occupation of Rome which left 32 men of the Regiment dead and 110 wounded including two Italian civilians, and is regarded as the direct cause of the Ardeatine Massacre, which saw the execution of 335 innocent Italians in German retaliation. Although the criminal nature of the Ardeatine Massacre has never been questioned, Italians remain divided on the nature of the Attack, and to what extent its orchestrators are responsible for the Massacre5. This controversy also portrays the antagonism between the Vatican Church and Communist ideals, whose mutual exclusiveness and “need for total and definite answers”6 has long divided Italians, and is therefore a key to understanding Italy’s society today. Therefore, this investigation will explore the controversy surrounding the Attack in an attempt to clear the GAP members’ name and put an end to a nearly century-long debate.
The Vatican’s argument was the first one to gain popularity and is still widely accepted today by most Italians, in great part due to the pivotal role played by the Church in Italian society. As asserted by Mario Fiorentini (one of those responsible for the attack) in an interview released in the 1990s, “in Rome, if you ask ten people about Via Rasella, three of them will probably support the GAP members, two of them will be undecided and the last five will be opposed to it”7. This seems justified when considering the GAP members are responsible, at the very least, to the extent that their actions were what ultimately triggered the German retaliation. This was made clear by the statement released by the Germans two days after the attack, stating that for each of the 32 Germans soldiers killed, ten Italians were to be executed8, in a reprisal directly under Hitler’s orders to ‘shake the world’9. This ultimately led the Church to claim that the men were ‘irresponsible’ and not respectful of human life10, as they should have contemplated the consequences of their actions before carrying out the attack, especially when considering that for several previous attacks which occurred in Rome, the Germans had answered with reprisals11. Although the church undoubtedly exaggerates the amount of blame which can be attributed to the GAP members, labelling the men as ‘irresponsible’ can certainly be justified when taking into account how little the possible repercussions of the attack were considered before it was carried out. It is for these reasons that the Church views the men as responsible for the Ardeatine Massacre, as they claim the 335 Italian lives could have been spared had the GAP members thought twice before attacking.
Critics from the left however argue that although the attack and subsequent massacre are clearly connected, they are separate events and should be judged accordingly12. Contrary to what is claimed by the Church, there had been several other occasions of violence against the Germans which did not result into a reprisal. Although there had also been other episodes where the Germans had punished the attacks of the Italians, none of them even came close to the size of the Ardeatine Massacre, the largest involving fourteen people killed on June 4 in the Storta Massacre13. Furthermore, none of the previous massacres had the Germans explicitly state that the killings were in response to an Italian attack14, making it impossible for the GAP members to predict the German reaction to Via Rasella. The unpredictability and brutality of the reprisal is what led Vittorio Foa (a founding fathers of the Italian Republic) to claim that “Jews were killed for being Jews, anti-fascists were killed just for what they thought and what they did, men who had nothing to do with it (the Attack) were killed just because they were numbers, needed to complete the order.”15 Such claims are supported when considering that the Germans’ true goal was not to punish the city for Via Rasella in particular, but for the resistance as a whole; Via Rasella was simply the excuse needed by the Germans. This was made clear by Kesselring himself (one of the German generals behind the Massacre) at his trial, who admitted that it was of little importance who was killed, but rather essential to send a message to the city to prevent future attacks16. Furthermore, it is striking that the Church chooses to focus not on the Germans who ultimately killed those 335 Italians, but rather the GAP members- although the attack might have given an excuse for the massacre to be carried out, in the end it was the criminal actions of the Nazis which caused it. GAP itself was incapable of stopping the massacre in any way, as Kesselring admitted, contrary to the myth spread by the Church, that the Germans never made any requests for its members to be arrested, found or to turn themselves in order to avoid the massacre17.
Further criticism from the left is aimed directly at the Church, particularly at Pope Pius XIII’s response to the attack. More specifically, in the book Death in Rome, Robert Katz claims that the Pope was aware of a possible German reprisal, and despite his power to potentially avoid it he decided to not speak out and rather attack the GAP members and left hundreds to be massacred in his own city18. This was allegedly motivated by Pius’ fear of a potential Communist uprising in Rome, leading him to condemn the actions of the GAP members in the Osservatore Romano, and use the massacre to his advantage in hope that it would eradicate further Communist resistance19. Despite the lack of sufficient evidence to definitively prove the Pope’s awareness of the reprisal due to the difficulty in accessing documents from the Vatican’s archives, the controversy has yet to extinguish today2021. If these claims were to be finally proved true, it would demonstrate that the Vatican's accusations towards the GAP members were entirely motivated by their own agenda, making such claims lose all credibility, offering an even stronger argument for the innocence of the GAP.
To conclude, the GAP members had no way to predict the German reaction to the attack and, although their actions were perhaps not thoroughly thought out and had very little military effectiveness, it was the Germans who slaughtered 335 Italians, not them. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, those responsible for the Via Rasella attack can only be considered responsible for the Ardeatine Massacre to the extent that it was their actions which were used as an excuse to trigger the killings, but does not justify full culpability for the deaths of the 335 Italians killed.

Reflection (369 words)

This investigation has enabled me to explore an important event in the history of my own country, which is still relevant today and extensively debated about.
The biggest challenge I faced in the investigation was the nature of my research question. Although I attempted to base all my claims and evaluation purely on facts, due to the answer to my question not being completely objective, there was room for a certain level of interpretation which was based on my morals and beliefs, or the ones of other historians. This taught me how history can be viewed and interpreted in different ways based on our values, and how this can make answering questions such as mine hard for historians.
Furthermore, this investigation educated me about the implications of oral history, and the values and limitations which come with it. For example, particularly striking in Portelli’s book, was how despite some of the witnesses who were interviewed did not remember the events correctly, rather than disregarding their accounts, Portelli used them to enrich the way we understand the past, by showing how it is perceived by those who experienced it, pointing out that the way events are remembered is just as important as the events themselves. This inevitably led me to question how much weight can be given to these accounts, and whether being able to reconstruct exactly what happened would have been more valuable to an historian, giving me an understanding of how facts and events are only one part of history and how this is a challenge faced by historians which I had not considered before.
Lastly, my investigation illustrated to me the intricate relationship between historical truth and legal truth. Throughout my research, I came across numerous trials regarding the Via Rasella Attack and the Ardeatine Massacre and the blame which can be attributed to the GAP members, which all came to different conclusions from the same historical facts. This made me realise how many “judicial truths” can originate from the one historical truth, which then become part of history themselves. Thus, leading me to question whether the law should be left out of historical investigations in order to avoid changing the way an event was originally perceived.

- Bettini, MIchele and Paolo Pezzini. “Guerra ai Civili”, Marsilio, May 9 1997.
- Bocca, Giorgio. Storia dell’ Italia Partigiana. Settembre 1943- Maggio 1945, Milano, Mondadori,
- Federigo, Argentieri. I comunisti e via Rasella. L'attentato inspiegabile, in Corriere della Sera, La
Lettura, 12 May 2019.
- Foa, Vittorio. Introduzione a Mario Avagliano, Il partigiano Tevere. Il Generale Sabato Martelli
Castaldi dalla vie dell'aria alle Fosse Ardeatine, Avagliano, Cava dei Tirreni 1996.
- Katz, Robert. Morte a Roma. Il massacro delle Fosse Ardeatine, Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1996.
- Kesselring,Albert. testimony at the trial against generals von Mackensen and Mältzer, November 1946.
- “L’ordine è Già Stato Eseguito.” Donzelli Editore, 2019,
- Miccoli, Giovanni. See ex plurimis the important studies, I dilemmi e i silenzi di Pio
- XII. Vaticano, Seconda guerra mondiale e Shoah, Milano: Rizzoli, 2007
- Neri, Riccardo. Nuovo Progetto Storia, vol. 3 , La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1994.
- Resta, Giorgio and Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich. “Judicial “Truth” and Historical “Truth” : The Case
of the Ardeatine Caves Massacre”, Jstor, Nov. 2013.
- Riccardi,Andrea. L'inverno più lungo. 1943-1944: Pio XII, gli ebrei e i nazisti a Roma, Rome-Bari:
Laterza, 2008.
- Sheehan Thomas. New York Review of Books, Jan. 22 1981.
- “Via Rasella Attack - Europe Remembers.” Europe Remembers, 2020 “Via Rasella Attack - Europe Remembers.” Europe Remembers, 2020 rasella-attack/
- "23 marzo 1944: azione partigiana a Via Rasella". 23 March 2012.

 History IA - 2021/2022
To what extent was Mussolini an ‘honest broker’ in the 1938 Munich Conference?
Word Count: 2200


Source A: The Ciano Diaries, 1937 - 1943, curated by Renzo De Felice. Published in 1946, Galeazzo Ciano was the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1936 - 1943


Ciano’s diary covers the decisive years between January 1937 up to February 1943, in which he also added a postscript from prison in Verona a few days before his execution2, where he explains the purpose of his diaries. In this postscript Ciano claims that the purpose of his diaries is to “exclude any falsehood”, and declares that “not a single word of what he claims, is false or exaggerated or dictated by selfish resentment.”3 Nevertheless Eugenio di Rienzo in 1980, describes its reliability as “contaminated”, where dates, facts and chronological errors are prevalent4. Despite this, upon the translated publication in 19465, Sumner Welles considered it as one of “the most valuable historical document of our time” because of the deep insight in Hitler’s and Mussolini’s motives6. Such contrasting opinions make this source evaluation challenging, but given the lack of original documents from Mussolini’s time as dictator limiting evidence of political, economic and military actions made at the time, this source’s content and origin makes it highly valuable for this investigation which specifically assesses Mussolini’s Foreign Policy. Ciano himself as Mussolini’s son-in-law and Foreign Minister, recorded a series of diary entries leading up to and during the Munich conference, in which he himself was part of, therefore its current and present content and origin from Munich increases its value.Reading his diary it is clear to see that at the end of September, the atmosphere was indecisive and tense in the Italian government, around the matter of Czechoslovakia, as Mussolini himself shared with Ciano his doubts and thought upon the matter, all able to provide valuable insight to this investigation.

Source B: ‘Mussolini and the Second World War, 1933-1940’ published in 2003 by Robert Mallett, a lecturer of Modern History at the University of Birmingham

Published very recently, Mallett offers a post-revisionist review of Italian foreign policy on the origins of WWII. This is valuable to historians as it re-examines the controversial debate of Mussolini and Fascist Italy’s international conflict during the war. This book too offers a section on Mussolini’s involvement in Munich, which is often overseen when studying this conference in 1938. This detailed analysis of Mussolini in WWII, was filled with valuable detailed content of Italy’s army during the war and before, as well as the coexisting matters evolving during Munich elsewhere. Contrastingly, this book covers almost 7 years of Italian history leading up to and during World War II, therefore Munich itself was dedicated to a very small section and it is clear that the author is not an expert simply in Munich, which identifies as a limitation for this investigation. The origin of the book however shows different aspects as the author had privileged access to until now unseen archival materials and also interviewed Italian historians, professors and Foreign Ministers allowing him to assess more personal and cultural considerations8. The origin of this book, written by a British historian, may limit its reliability due to the language barrier between the author and the significant and numerous Italian people that helped his research. Overall, this source is valuable to this investigation as it offers the unusual perspective of Mussolini’s role in the Munich Conference, however to historians this source may not offer the real Italian perspective on WWII and the unfolding of the events.

At 10 a.m. the morning of September 28th Mussolini accepted the role of mediator9 at the Munich Conference to help Britain negotiate with Hitler in hope of maintaining peace in Europe. The day before, British ambassador in Rome, Lord Perth, suggested that Mussolini be asked to act as a peace-maker10 and meet with Hitler, Chamberlain and Daladier with the purpose of carving Czechoslovakia to prevent a war. Steiner argues that Mussolini thus suddenly found himself in the position that he most coveted, to save Europe from war. This investigation will investigate if Mussolini was truly acting sincerely, and consider what possible motivations he would have had stemming from either militaristic, ideological or diplomatic considerations to benefit Italy’s foreign policy. This investigation offers a deeper understanding of Mussolini’s often disregarded role in the Munich Conference of 1938, and whether his involvement was driven by honest motivations.
Certainly Italy’s lack of military resources seemed to have been one of the most significant motivations for Mussolini to attend Munich and to have agreed to help Britain prevent war in 1938. On September 27th, the day before the Munich conference Ciano and the Italian general staff planned for Italy’s initial preparations for war11. Mallet on the other hand, highlights that at the time in 1938, Italy was militarily involved in the Spanish Civil war and years prior in the Abyssinian Crisis in 1934 too12. He then specified that these conflicts indicated that the Regio Esercito had the capacity of only fighting a defensive battle on the Alpine frontiers, and would be unable to carry out an offensive action in Europe13. Furthermore, the Regia Marina could not take major initiative in the case of superior enemy attacks, from powers such as Britain and France14. It seemed that at the time of the Munich Conference and following the request of Italy’s involvement, there were signs of considerable unease in Rome, particularly from Ciano.15 In fact, according to Ciano’s diary entry of September 20th, merely a week from the Munich conference, Berti had shared with him that the military seemed to be behind schedule due to troops fighting the Red Army showing signs of being tired and unable to carry on fighting16. It was clear that Ciano had no wish to get involved in a conflict over a question Italy had no interest in17. Additionally, Mussolini’s already dubious involvement in the Spanish Civil War did not seem to be paid off after two years, where it seemed possible that Franco might accept a negotiated peace, leaving the Italians with little to show for their effort18. Indeed, Ciano records that the Duce, already skeptical of Spain, believed that it would result in a loss of the 4 billion credits19. According to these claims it seemed that not only did Mussolini believe that Spain was not worth his men and resources, but he had no hopes of getting Franco’s support in any future war. Mussolini’s support to Britain to agree on an appeasement for Hitler, would have played in his favour of needing more time for rearmament, training troops and increasing military resource production. Mussolini, so full of clusters when war was far away, now became increasingly reluctant even to support Germany over Czechoslovakia20, knowing that Italy was not prepared for war21. Yet, in October 1938, the Italian masses were evincing anything but a militaristic urge as they rejoiced in the preservation of peace in their time22 and mussolini was willing to sacrifice his conflict-driven, aggressive policy.
Possibly Mussolini’s motivation did not lie behind military considerations at all and they were not honest either; during Munich, it seemed that Mussolini did not have direct interest in destroying Czechoslovakia, but he was pleased to join in on its dismemberment23, meaning that his motivations were ideological. As part of his Fascist Foreign Policy, following his discontent and resentment of the Treaty of Versailles, Czechoslovakia was a one of the ‘morgel states’ of the Versailles diplomacy, for Italy and Germany its destruction was the key to the Versailles arch24. In January 1924, France was the only major power to conclude an alliance with Czechoslovakia25. In fact, to Mussolini the Czech state represented French interests in southeast Europe, of a country with a taint of liberal internationalism that Mussolini detested26. Franco-Czech relations played a role in strengthening Mussolini’s discontent towards Czechoslovakia, already in 1935; when Czechoslovakia strongly supported the League of Nations in imposing sanctions against Italy after the Abyssinian Crisis27. Furthermore, according to Italian Intelligence, it seemed rebels when fighting in Abyssinia28. In addition, having turned down Ribbentrop’s idea of a full-blown military alliance in early May, the Duce came to view the burgeoning Czech crisis as offering him the opportunity to pursue his own aims in the Mediterranean29. There was no better cover for a sudden unexpected coup in the Mediterranean, when the focus Anglo-French policy and high-level discussions centered exclusively on Hitler and central Europe, which, if executed effectively by the fascist armed forces, might well deliver Tunisia, Egypt and Suez, and would compel Germany to fight on Italy’s side30. But ultimately, the Italian forces never executed such a coup, however Mussolini’s unexpected turn-about over intervention seemed to have been the decisive factor for Hitler’s decision to cancel mobilisation31
Going further, what is often not considered are Mussolini’s motivations stemming from diplomatic interests for the future, by attempting to get closer to Britain and break Anglo-French relations, otherwise Italy would end itself against the powerful allies32. The Duce had begun his programme of separating the French and British enemies, through a series of agreements with only Britain. In April 1938, the Easter Accords between Italy and Britain were signed in Rome, facilitating further cooperations between the two powers, “to keep world order.”33 Ciano refers that the nature of these agreements emphasised on being Anti-French and was destined to accentuate French isolation34. Mussolini in this perspective thus was not a peacemaker or pacific dictator, which is what may have shocked France, given its optimism on establishing Italo-French accords. Now it appeared that Mussolini abruptly refused to agree to all French proposals, making it impossible to come to terms35. Mussolini aimed to drive a wedge between the Western democracies in an attempt to isolate France36. Imminent to the Munich Conference, Ciano quotes Mussolini saying that “If the conflict [would] arise in Germany, Prague, Paris and Moscow, [Italy] will remain neutral. If Great Britain intervenes, generalising the conflict and adding an ideological character... Italy and fascism will be unable to remain neutral”37. This claim demonstrates how his aim was built upon the involvement of whether France and Britain were to come together in the same conflict, where their ideologies had a chance to merge against fascism. Ciano’s that Czechoslovakia, supported by France, offered military aid to the Ethiopian diary offers an insight on the inside discussions and opinions about France right before the Munich Conference on 28 September. Mussolini believed that any step from Blodel would be counterproductive38, therefore he ordered his diplomats to do something about France’s involvement to not take part in the Czechoslovakia crisis as a diplomatic move.
In conclusion such evidence discussed makes a short shift of Mussolini’s much debated role of ‘peacemaker’ at the Munich conference39. A series of considerations made up Mussolini’s motivation to get involved and be the ‘honest broker’, for example Italy's military stability being nonexistent and his ideological hatred towards Czechoslovakia. However, the biggest defining consideration for Mussolini’s intent to be the ‘honest broker’ at the Conference was motivated by his programme of breaking Anglo-French accords and agreements which could prove to be threatening in a distant future, rather than peace. His citizens cheered on Mussolini in great crowds from the Brenner to Rome as ‘the angel of peace’40 and for a short period of time, he was the ‘saviour of Europe’41.

One of the main issues faced in this investigation was the language translation. Though history resources and evidence are constantly being translated, it can easily play a role in miscommunication. Non-Italian historians may misuse, misinterpret and misunderstand the real purpose behind a certain decision or argument. For example, the leakage concerns from the British embassy in Rome were changed to say in the English versions the documents were “shown” to the Italians, whereas in the Italian version, Ciano describes the documents being flinched42. These slight changes among others, were found between the two versions, and for the purpose of this investigation and the value of my sources I tried to avoid mistranslations and translated the Italian version myself.
Another limitation I found throughout my research upon Mussolini’s war intents, was the lack of information and secondary sources around Mussolini’s role in WWII. At times this investigation seemed bigger than I expected, because even though Mussolini was a significant figure of WWII, sources about the leader’s intentions tended to focus on Hitler rather than smaller powers. For example, information about the intentions of Mussolini’s choice of signing accords with Britain, and not with France, were barely ever relevant in research papers. Possibly, documents and research from the time were purposely destroyed for exactly the purpose of hiding evidence for the future. This lack of information and research of Mussolini’s war intent, made it challenging to build my own conclusion of Mussolini's role and intent in Munich.
Furthermore, a less significant issue with this investigation is that during the war, Mussolini was seen as a peacemaker by many, since at the time Hitler was the center of attention as the evil figure. It seemed that, as I mentioned in my investigation, France and Britain did not have a problem with asking him to be mediator. However, as soon as the war was over this view of Mussolini drastically changed for the worse43. Therefore, this drastic change in views of the dictator, had a serious effect on the resources I found, as they were opposing completely, making it challenging to make an argument myself. Perhaps, he is given more credit than he deserved, however he was in power for more than 22 years which made him a successful leader to a country.

Books/Academic papers:
● A.J.P Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War (1967)
● Bernard Wall, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), vol. 23, no. 4
● Christian Goeschel, The Munich Crisis, politics and the people: Mussolini, Munich and the Italian
People (2021)
● David Vital, Czechoslovakia and the powers - September 1938 (1966)
● Emilio Gin, Speak of War and Prepare for War: Rome, 10 June 1940 (2016)
● Galeazzo Ciano, Ciano’s Diary 1937 - 1940 ( 1946)
● G. Bruce Strang, In Dubious Battle: Mussolini’s mentality and Italian foreign policy, 1936 - 1939
● G. Bruce Strang, The Munich Crisis, 1938: War and Peace - Mussolini’s road to Munich (2005)
● Gaudens, Megaro, The American Historical Review: The Ciano Diaries (1948)
● Richard J. B. Bosworth, Mussolini - Chapter 14: Crisis in Europe 1936 – 1938 (2001)
● Robert Mallet, Mussolini and the Second World War, 1933 - 1940 (2005)
● Zara Steiner, The Triumph of the Dark (2011)
● Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Galeazzo Ciano, conte di Cortellazzo", 14 Mar. 2021,
● Paolo Mieli, Corriere della Sera: ‘Non fidatevi del Diario di Ciano, e una trappola tesa agli storici’,
(19 Nov. 2018)
● Routledge World’s Who is Who, Who is Robert MALLET

 Were American campaigns in the Italian 1948 April elections more important than the church’s for the Christian Democratic win?


This investigation will explore the question: Were American campaigns in the Italian 1948 April elections more important than the churches for the Christian Democratic win?, and will be analysed through the use of two main sources; an American one and an Italian one. It will look at the factors that had an effect on the Christian democratic Party's win, including American intervention, and the one of the Italian Church. Both sources are relevant in providing first-hand information on the topic, thus making them useful for this investigation.

Source 1: Central Intelligence Agency. Feb 27 1953. Psychological strategy board Washington.

The first source is taken from a CIA released document, written in 1953 and recently declassified, in 2006. This source is valuable because it is the earliest reference from the organisation that tries to explain its role, which is unique since the CIA is a secretive organisation and was operating from the start of the Cold War. This is also valuable because it specifically gives the CIA’s opinion on the matter, which reflects that of the American government. The fact that it was also written in 1953, only a couple of years after the election, also gives them first hand information and experience on the matter, showing their true thoughts at the time. However, this is also an indication of the lack of hindsight and analysis. The purpose of the paper is to “attempt to assess the psychological impact and results of [American] effort in Italy from 1945 [to 1953]”1. On one hand, this shows it is an academic paper, used only to reflect on events and communicate the effect of American Intervention. On the other hand, it also proves it is a highly opinionated paper, with one perspective embedded within; the American one. Furthermore, the main issue with the content is that it is very self-serving, describing all the things the U.S did correctly, ignoring their mistakes and the problems they caused. An example of this is when they write about how they “saved democracy and helped Italy”2, with no further substantial evidence.

Source B: L'Unitá. 22 April 1948. Le dichiarazioni di Togliatti.

The second source is directly from the Italian left-wing newspaper published right after the elections. It contains an interview with Togliatti, the founding member of the Italian communist Party, and it shows his opinions on the foreign intervention. This document gives a clashing communist view to the situation, who were also the ones most negatively affected by the American intervention. It’s valuable because its origin is from Togliatti in 1948 and therefore provides the opinion of one of the Party leaders, the losing one, only four days after the election took place. This , therefore, gives Togliatti’s immediate response of anger and shock to the situation. This could also be a problem as it gives him no time to reflect on the situation, rather saying things out of rage, and without fully thinking it through. The purpose of this interview is to present to the communist readers of the newspaper, Togliatti's opinion on the loss of the election and the factors leading up to the defeat. This is a limitation because it is highly opinionated and as a means to persuade the readers that American intervention was wrong, with only a substantial amount of evidence to support his opinion. In the interview he explicitly describes how “the election was an infringement of freedom to vote”3, once again conveying a strong message, but with lack of evidence to support such a claim.


The Italian elections of April 1948, are commonly regarded as a crucial passage in the Cold War, not only for their outcome, but for the fact that they set an extremely important precedent for US foreign policy. They would not only determine Italy’s future government but also the political orientation of the country; communist or democratic. It was so crucial that by their letters, cards, telegrams, radio broadcasts, and other means of communication, the Americans tried to persuade the Italians not to vote for the communist Party in order to secure a democratic win.4 Nevertheless, American involvement was almost insignificant compared to domestic interference, in particular through the part played by the Church.

American intervention, of the CIA and other US organisations, in favour of the Democratic Party during election campaigns was crucial to the massive support and votes they received5. Historian Tim Weiner argues that the CIA, whilst still a relatively new organisation, undertook a massive operation to disrupt the efforts of the PCI prior to the Italian elections6, sending both economic aid and military assistance7. In fact, in 1948 alone, American Italians sent over 30 million in remittances to relatives in Italy. This act showed how desperate the Americans were in persuading the Italian people to vote for the democratic government, in fear of the communist ideology spreading through Europe. The letters they sent, not only contained pleas, but they also sent cash and canned goods.8 This was a symbol that the democratic regimes could deliver immediate material aid to the Italians, in order to help them resist communist promises and appeals. By helping them see what life was under a democratic government, the Italians were much more likely to be persuaded into changing their political views and think of voting for democracy. Only days after the results of the elections, an American correspondent in Rome reported to the Associated Press that “probably no single factor weighted the scales as heavily as [the letters]”9. The fact that the impact of the American intervention was already well known at the time of the election highlights its importance and immediate influence. This “Letters to Italy campaign” is now criticized and often described by historians as an interference of freedom of choice and as politically incorrect. However the present controversy also shows the success these campaigns had in persuading millions of people not to vote for communism. The urgency of this intervention can be highlighted when in March 1948, the American State department threatened to withdraw Marshall aid in the event of the PCI’s Win10. This would highly impact the Italian economy and would put the country back into its original state of poverty and depression. In order to avoid the ruin of the country and the deaths of thousands, Italians were left with no choice but to adhere to the American demands. By putting them under heavy pressure, the Americans succeeded in scaring the Italians into voting for democracy in order to maintain and save their economy. Moreover, in March of 1948 the State Department's first radio, began an extensive propaganda campaign and a number of celebrities such as Rocky Graziano, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby made a series of radio appeals to the Italians.11 The use of famous celebrities in their propaganda ensured that their message would get across more easily, and would appeal to all types of audiences. When such celebrities are involved fans may want to emulate the celebrity and therefore be more likely to change their political views to mirror the ones of their idols. Using these kinds of campaigns often also get more people talking about it which causes it to become bigger faster. Together, the combination of all these campaigns is what helped the Christian Democratic Party gain more votes to win the final election in 1948.

However, American intervention can be seen as insignificant and unsuccessful compared to the one of the Italian Catholic Church. In fact, according to McCargar, detailed to the Office of Policy Coordination, in the CIA, the majority of these operations were hastily improvised and “could barely be dignified by the adjective covert”12. This shows the lack of preparation spent on the campaign, thus conveying the ineffectiveness and uselessness of it compared to other influences such as the church. The Italian Catholic Church, left its wartime ambivalence and strongly intervened to help the Christian democrats. Their intervention, as the sociologist Gianfranco Poggi has described it, was “one of maximum involvement and maximum commitment” of the Church’s resources13 as they viewed the situation in apocalyptic terms. This is also supported when, as early as February 1947, more than a year before the election, 300 bishops and 125,000 other clergy began to counteract and refute the propaganda of the popular democratic front.14 The Popes well-known expression “con Cristo o contro Cristo”15 portrays this idea that one side there was God and catholicism, whilst communism was on the opposing side. It implied that whoever voted for communism was to be punished by God, as they were voting for everything that goes against them. By saying this, the Pope portrayed the important message to vote for the CD or face serious consequences from God and the church. This is highly effective, as Italy was a Catholic country, thus allowing him to get the message across and influence the political decisions of millions of people. Furthermore, Giacomo Lercaro, Italian Cardinal at the time talks about how most of the religious population didn't even bother to read about the Parties but voted based on “their vow to a heartfelt fidelity to the Church”16. This would have been influential as 97% of Italy's population identified as Roman Catholic during World War two17 and after. This shows how easy it could have been for the church to manipulate and control the votes of the majority of people, just by using their position with God. This was highly effective as the CD quickly gained the vote of millions of people through this religious propaganda, consequently securing their win. In 1948, Italy was also economically18 and socially poor, in which over 12.9%, more than 6.1 million, of the population was illiterate19, relying on religion and their belief in God. This made it easier for the Church to exploit their weakened state. The CD’s election campaign did not end with the use of the sacred and Catholic symbolism, but this use became prevalent and contributed to the transformation of a purely political event into an eschatological event in which the people of God were called to fight a new Lepanto, a new war against the infidel, to protect not only Italy but all Christianity from the threats of a new antichrist. This shows the massive support the church got from its citizens and supporters as they advertised the communist party as negative and against the church. Overall, the intervention of the church was highly important in securing the CD’s win, due to their position with God and their control of a very religious population.

In conclusion, American intervention was crucial in terms of anti-communist win, as they not only sent letters and food but they offered great economic support to the CDC leader DeGasperi, in order for him to build up his Party and win the elections. However, the Italian Church also played an even bigger role as the Pope, nuns and priests used their position with God to guilt-trip the christian population to vote for anti-communism.


This process of the investigation has allowed me to use a range of research methods, allowing me to face some of the problems historians still face. The first thing is that, when looking at primary sources, like the article on Togliatti, I noticed that gaining accurate historical knowledge from these sources is difficult. Although primary sources are useful for bringing the past closer to the present, allowing historians to understand and analyse the way certain figures thought, it is important to notice their bias and reliability. For example, in the newspaper article, Togliatti expresses his opinions on the elections just a few days after. Given the fact that it was written soon after the results, many of the things he said were merely through anger and disappointment, which could have affected its accuracy of portrayal of events. Therefore, I realised how important it is to take into consideration things such as their origin. In history not all versions of the same event can be accepted and it is up to interpretation. Personally, this was something challenging. For example, when looking at the limitations of the newspaper articles from Italy at the time, I realised they outweighed the values. This is mostly because the purpose of a newspaper is to persuade the audience of something, therefore making the events unreliable and often changed to fit a perspective. On the other hand, I found books and publications by historians more useful and valuable as their main purpose is often to inform on the events of history, also allowing them the benefit of hindsight and access to more sources and archives from both sides. However, when writing about a political event it is difficult to find sources and evidence that is unbiased and lacks personal opinions. This was especially difficult with primary sources such as interviews and government documents such as the CIA document from the time. Moreover, although there have been multiple studies on American intervention and a lot has been documented since the mid 1970s, no detailed scholarly articles have actually appeared in either English, or even more surprisingly, in Italian.20 This was quite shocking as it was a major election in Italian history which impacted the country's politics for many years after.

20 Central Intelligence Agency. Feb 27 1953. Psychological strategy board Washington. 7

  This made it difficult for me to find appropriate and reliable sources in both English and Italian and therefore made it challenging to come up with a good and valid conclusion.

Works cited

“A War Story: Italian Catholics and a Fascist Europe: Christian History Magazine.” Christian History Institute. Accessed March 2, 2023. rope.

Andrea Mariuzzo. (2011) The training and education of propagandists in the ‘repubblica dei partiti’: internal-circulation periodicals in the PCI and the DC (1946–58). Journal of Modern Italian Studies 16:1, pages 84-106.

“CNN Cold War episode 3: Marshall plan. Interview with F. Mark Wyatt, former CIA operative in Italy during the election”, 1998-1999, archived from the original on August 31, 2001, retrieved July 17, 2006

Cinotto, Simone, ed. 2014. Making Italian America: Consumer Culture and the Production of Ethnic Identities. N.p.: Fordham University Press.

Carrillo, Elisa A. “The Italian Catholic Church and Communism, 1943-1963.” The Catholic Historical Review 77, no. 4 (1991): 644–57.

Corke, Sarah-Jane. 2007. US Covert Operations and Cold War Strategy: Truman, Secret Warfare and the CIA, 1945-53. N.p.: Taylor & Francis.

Del Pero, Mario. “The United States and ‘Psychological Warfare’ in Italy, 1948-1955.” The Journal of American History, vol. 87, no. 4, [Oxford University Press, Organization of American Historians], 2001, pp. 1304–34,

“Italia 1945 1948 gli anni del miracolo.” 2016. Gruppo Laico di Ricerca.

Martinez, C. Edda, and Edward A. Suchman. “Letters From America and the 1948 Elections in Italy.” The Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 1, [Oxford University Press, American Association for Public Opinion Research], 1950, pp. 111–25,

Pero, Mario Del. “Gli Stati Uniti e La ‘Guerra Psicologica’ in Italia (1948-56).” Studi Storici 39, no. 4 (1998): 953–88.

“"Shots from a Luce Cannon": Combating Communism in Italy, 1953-1956 | National Security Archive.” 2011. National Security Archive. Combating-Communism.pdf

Veith, George J., and Thomas Boghardt. 2017. ““By All Feasible Means.”” Wilson Center.

Rosaria, Leonardi. n.d. “Il sacro come strumento politico: le elezioni del 1948, la Democrazia Cristiana e i manifesti elettorali.”

Primary sources

Central Intelligence Agency. 1953. Psychological strategy board Washington.

"Documentazioni spicciole sulla campagna clericale." L'Unità (edizione Piemontese) 26 May 1948: 2

Domenico, Bartoli. 1948. “La Chiesa e il comunismo.” La Stampa, April 8, 1948, 1.,com_lastampa/task,search/mod,libera/action,vi ewer/Itemid,3/page,1/articleid,0010_01_1948_0076_0001_24489278/.

James, McCargar, and Charles S. Kennedy. 1995. “Interview.” The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project (April): 75-90.,%20James.toc.pdf.

L'Unitá. 22 April 1948. Le dichiarazioni di Togliatti.

Tim Weiner, “F.Mark Wyatt, 86, C.I.A. Officer, Is Dead” The New York Times, July 6, 2006.

 Internal Assessment, History SL

Was Mussolini involved in the Giacomo Matteotti crime?

Word count: 2184



 Section A

This study will investigate the question “Was Mussolini involved in the Giacomo Matteotti crime?”.

Renzo De Felice “Mussolini il Fascista, La conquista del potere 1921-1925”, (Einaudi 1996)

De Felice's book is problematic as it does not provide a definitive answer to Mussolini's responsibility for the crime. The purpose of this book is to show the rise of fascism, and thus the development of Mussolini’s politics from agrarian fascism to the consolidation of the dictatorship.

Since the fascist movement was born with a violent foundation such as the Accursio palace massacre, Matteotti’s murder confirms Mussolini’s modus operandi which consisted of punishing government opponents.

However, others argue that De Felice’s book attempts to justify Mussolini's involvement in the homicide as he merely provides objective arguments without taking a side. Nonetheless, when the book was published, in 1966, anyone who disagreed that fascism was evil was considered a fascist sympathiser.

He was the first historian to cite Carlo Silvestri "Mussolini's last friend", his greatest defender, whose book was used for the investigation. As R.J.B Bosworth describes,“his archival labors have left behind a mine of material that no later historian in the field can ignore ''.1 Indeed, De Felice is known as the greatest biographer of Mussolini.2 His meticulous research was crucial as it allowed the consultation of several sources, including the newspapers of the time such as“Il Mondo”, and documents like Mussolini’s following Matteotti’s murder in which the Duce claims that“the government has a clear conscience”. From De Felice's statements, it is possible to glimpse his impartial perspective as he rather entrusts him with moral responsibility for creating an aggressive climate within the Government.

Canali, Mauro “Il delitto Matteotti”, (Il Mulino 2004)

Canali was a student of De Felice and it is interesting to see how he drastically disagreed with him as he explicitly accuses Mussolini's involvement in the Matteotti crime, without giving different perspectives. Nonetheless, he is considered a great historian: he won the international Capalbio award in 2014 and the FiuggiStoria award in 2018 suggesting that he is a respected historian specifically concerning Mussolini.3 The book was published in 2004, giving the advantage of hindsight, access to more recently uncovered sources, as well as access to sources used by De Felice in the previous book.

The purpose of the source is to unmask the corruption behind fascism through the analysis of specific factors that are connected to the movement and Mussolini in the years 1922-1924. For instance, Canali explains the Sinclair oil case, allowing a deeper understanding and providing a motive for the crime from an economic perspective. He also describes the brutal actions of the fascist Ceka, claiming that with this criminal movement, Mussolini would have had no problems ordering the kidnapping of Matteotti. However, the historian has the mere purpose of painting a negative image of fascism, thus limiting the knowledge of the dynamics that took place in that period within the government.

 Section B

Rome, June 10, 1924, the socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti is kidnapped and then killed by the fascist Ceka, on his way to Montecitorio. On May 30, Matteotti accused the Fascist party of manipulating the April 6 elections. Matteotti would have shared the evidence at the next parliamentary session which attested to the corruption of fascism and Mussolini, such as the Sinclair oil case. There are two main arguments regarding responsibility for the crime. The first suggests that the order came from Mussolini, to avoid exposing any illegalities of fascism. The other claims that the liberals were the instigators of the crime aimed to put Mussolini in a bad light. The essay will analyze these two different perspectives and conclude that it was Mussolini who instigated the crime.

It is important to investigate this matter as it represents the emblem of the Italian political corruption that still prevails today.

What makes Mussolini’s involvement in the murder problematic to ascertain is that there was nothing to gain given his political vulnerability during that time and above all it was not in his nature to act without considering possible consequences.4 A piece of evidence that supports this is the testimony of Gianmatteo Matteotti. Gianmatteo, in a 1985 interview, argued that Mussolini aimed at restoring peace and order within the government and envisioned the possible success of a government including fascists and socialists.5 This argument is supported by De Felice, who underlines that there were numerous fascists actively opposed to this coalition causing internal division within the fascist party.6 Despite being the son of the victim, and therefore raised with the same political and moral ideals as his father, Gianmatteo was three years old in 1924. During the first years after the scandal, the Matteotti family received substantial economic aid from the fascist police, suggesting that the environment in which Gianmatteo grew up strongly influenced his views. Furthermore, when Mussolini received the confidence of the Senate and was able to re-design the government on July 1, 1924, out of 14 undersecretaries two were pro-liberal-socialist.7 This move indicates that the prime minister wanted to include these two figures to demonstrate the hypothetical union between right and left politics.8

Another source that denies Mussolini's involvement is the interview by Arrigo Petacco for the blog “Passaparola” of the 5 Star Movement, released in 2015.9 The Italian journalist, who specialised in crime news, claims that Mussolini is not involved in the crime because he found himself amid a political crisis. The two political poles of the right and left showed disagreement with this new political plan through the publication of newspapers in which they expressed the impossibility of cooperation as it represented a "comedy of collaboration and revolution".10 According to the politician Nino Levi, Mussolini found himself in an uncomfortable situation in which he needed support from the left to resist the right.11 As a crime reporter, Petacco was able to provide a more analytical point of view regarding the kidnapping, arguing that the squadristi only intended to kidnap him to steal the documents, proof of corruption between the Sinclair oil deal and the Fascist Party.12 During the kidnapping, the deputy would have fought back and ended up with a serious head injury.

Therefore, it is clear that if Mussolini had been the instigator of the Matteotti crime, his political path would have been marked by distrust from the right and left wings preventing the establishment of a stable government.

Nonetheless, Mussolini was still the leader of a violent party protagonist of economic malpractice and there is enough proof that supports his involvement in Matteotti's case. Crucial evidence when answering the question is the study of the historian Mauro Canali regarding the “oil case” with the Fascist Party, Sinclair Oil, and Standard Oil as protagonists.13 The two oil companies agreed to block British oil expansion into Italian territory and managing these agreements there were Filippo Filippelli and Arnaldo Mussolini, two members of the fascist party.14 Disseminating this information would have highlighted the modus operandi of fascism delineated by corruption, speculation, and violence.15 Canali describes that Matteotti had enough evidence to denounce fascism of political immorality. This could have led to the renewal of elections and the end of Mussolini's government.16 Another point analysed by Professor Canali is the fascist Cheka, made up of members of the fascist party.17 Aware of this violent movement is the head of the Volunteer Militia for National Security, Emilio De Bono. The latter would have helped to orchestrate the investigation into the Matteotti crime, trying to manipulate and master the traces of those responsible, ergo the Cheka.18 Mussolini, in his speech on January 3, 1925, denied having formed this criminal movement.19 This statement of his, six months after the crime, indicates his ease in repudiating what we know to be true. This means that behind the murder of the socialist deputy, the shadow of the Duce is present.

Another piece of evidence that corroborates Mussolini's thesis as the instigator of the Matteotti crime is the testimony of Cesare Rossi published on December 28, 1924, by the newspaper "Il Mondo".20 The document provides the views of an individual who has been at the side of Mussolini from the march on Rome to the Matteotti crisis.21 The source is essential as it allows us to evaluate the role of the fascist leader in the second half of 1924, describing how he was responsible for fuelling a violent climate within the fascist party, making him morally accountable for the deputy's death. Having been written by the former general secretary of the fascist party, it is possible to note the elements that characterized the political movement. There are specific references to Mussolini's behavior, such as “lack of tolerance” and “incitement to violence” which confirm the aggressiveness of fascism.22 However, the newspaper that exposed this information is conditioned by a compelling hatred towards Mussolini, thus fueling the accusations that Rossi makes against him. It is relevant to consider that at the time Rossi was a fugitive and his purpose was not only to expose Mussolini by accusing him but to save his image and defend his reputation. As De Felice describes, Rossi believed that with Finzi's resignation and his own, Mussolini would have removed the suspicion of being the initiator of the crime: public opinion was particularly agitated even within the Senate and began to have doubts about Mussolini’s government.23

Therefore, the leader of fascism found himself in a stalemate during the year 1924 caused by a political crisis that saw no solution, worsened by dirty oil deals permanently staining the fascist party.

It can be concluded that Mussolini is an accomplice in the Matteotti crime mainly thanks to the research carried out by the two historians De Felice and Canali. As the first describes, the fascist leader in June 1924, immediately after winning the elections, lived precarious days in which disorder and instability reigned within the party. Canali explores the economic causes, which symbolize fascist corruption. Ultimately, given the choice of ministers of the new government in 1924, it is possible to deduce that the coalition between fascism and socialism, contrary to what Silvestri, Petacco, and Matteotti's son claim, had already been rejected, allowing Mussolini to act violently.

 Section C

I realized how challenging it is to talk about Mussolini without being influenced by the Fascist period and the events thereafter. This made me realize that it is often not the historian who produces biased opinions when describing and analyzing historical events, but it is the reader who is prejudiced and tends to support sources and arguments they already share, thus limiting their knowledge on one certain topic. For this specific research it was fundamental and particularly challenging to limit my scope to 1925. This helped me to evaluate the events according to their temporal sequence, without considering what happened afterwards. I have also found it helpful to see a man's life over time to understand his character. For instance, knowing that Mussolini invaded Abyssinia in 1935 in a period of extreme global political fragility allowed me to understand that perhaps the leader did not think about the consequences that this action would have had in diplomatic affairs, therefore that he had impulses aimed at satisfying his ego, such as the elimination of active opponents such as Matteotti.24

I acknowledge how history is often considered law, where there are two trials with different verdicts.25 This suggests that the materials can be manipulated for specific purposes, which is frustrating for a historian as it implies limited knowledge on the subject. For instance, when studying the Cold War Western sources prevail, in which Stalin is described as the one who provoked the events for the purpose of ideological expansionism and Truman as the one who "saved" the countries subjected to it.26 Additionally, when observing Berlusconi, it is possible to accuse him of corruption and crime because there is enough evidence.27 But when the latter is missing, the historian struggles as the construction of the events can only be carried out on the basis of the available sources, which can be questioned, leading him to formulate assumptions which can be denied or approved only through the discovery of additional sources. Therefore, in this research it was essential to have a substantial amount of sources in order to, no only answer the question but also to comprehend the specific aspects and dynamics of that time.

Studying the Matteotti murder, I understood the importance of specific events. The death of the deputy is considered emblematic as it marks the end of a democratic regime and the beginning of the dictatorship; the reason why many historians argue this is because the socialist deputy was not a simple politician, he was the one who publicly questioned the government and the first to convict him of corruption within parliament. By removing him from the scene, the government confirmed its political ideology which required violence to establish order. Without Matteotti's death, the government would have continued to cover up its corruption.

Another problem I faced in writing the research was writing it as storytelling and I did not know how much background information I needed to better answer the question. Being Italian, it was easy for me to understand some political and social dynamics, but it was difficult for me to describe them. Italian history is strongly delineated by corruption, and it is easy to understand it if you have lived it, but it is arduous to explain it to those who have never had anything to do with it.


Atti parlamentari, Camera dei deputati “Tornata del 3 Gennaio 1925” Legislatura XLIX , 1^ sessione Canali, Mauro, “Il delitto Matteotti” (il Mulino 2004)

Canali, Mauro, “ROSSI, Cesare” Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani CGIL, “La violenza fascista”, 7 Luglio 2021

Corriere della sera, Cronaca Roma, Il Premio FiuggiStoria a Mauro Canali L’VIII edizione dedicata a Enzo Bettiza”, 24 Gennaio 2018

De Felice, Renzo “Mussolini il Fascista, La conquista del potere 1921-1925”, (Einaudi 1966) Gale WoolberT, Robert, “Italy in Abyssinia” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Apr., 1935)

Gentile, Emilio, “DE FELICE, Renzo” Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana,Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (2015)

Il Mondo, “Memoriale di Cesare Rossi”, 28 Dicembre 1924

La Repubblica, “Corruzione in atti giudiziari, Silvio Berlusconi indagato a Roma”, 7 Marzo 2019

Matteotti, Gianmatteo “Omicidio Matteotti” intervista di Staglieno (1985)

Petacco, Arrigo,“Mussolini non ha ucciso Matteotti’ Passaparola, movimento cinque stelle ( 2015)

Repubblica, “MATTEOTTI E L'AFFARE SINCLAIR”, 7 Maggio 1996

R J B Bosworth, “Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Dictatorship, 1915-1945”, September 29, 2005

Salandra, Antonio ,“Memorie politiche, 1916-1925”, (Garzanti 1953)

Salvemini, Gaetano “Scritti sul fascismo, II volume” (Feltrinelli 1966)

Sardellaro, Enzo, “Aldo Finzi e il delitto Matteotti” (2015)

Scurati, Antonio “M, il figlio del secolo” (Giunti Editori 2018)

Sikandar Ali Usman The relationship between law and history, BRAC University, Dhaka Bangladesh Jan 06, 2022


Tiozzo, Enrico, “La giacca di Matteotti”, Vol. 60, No. 3 (31 Maggio 2005)


 Tuttostoria, storia contemporanea e il ventennio fascista, “Dalle elezioni del 6 Aprile 1924 al delitto Matteotti”, January 4, 2015


See my personal page on Mussolini's Rome then and now

Fascist Rome