On April 28, 1945, one of the most notorious leaders of the Second World War saw his life end in a cruel way. Like Benito Mussolini, who ruled Italy under a bloody dictatorship for many years, he suffered the fury of the opposition at the last moment.
Shot, hung in a public square and lynched by the population, the fascist dictator became an example to other Axis figures about the future that awaited them. However, not everyone was as reckless as the Italian, who was captured with his lover Clara Petacci , in the vicinity of the village of Dongo.
Under Milan’s guidance, the final moment of pain began under the watch of the 52nd Garibaldina Brigade. Mussolini’s lifeless body became the target of various compromises: the crowd was kicked, vomited, peeed, and shot desperately.
Although his corpse was hung upside down on a metal beam, it was impossible not to recognize the face of that evil character. The years of propagating and worshiping the figure of the dictator had implanted his face in the minds of every Italian citizen.
Historian and professor David Kertzer said in an interview in response to the magazine Foreign Policy in 2015: “Although his body was desecrated, his ubiquity made him the next day. It’s recognized when you hang upside down.”
At that time, the “New York Times” celebrated the death of Benito: “The fired squad, along with his lover and a handful of fascist leaders, the first among the fascist dictators, once boasted that they would restore their glory. That man. It is the ruins of ancient Rome. It has now become a corpse in the public square of Milan. The crowd is in the ruins, screaming, kicking and spitting.
Two days after the Italian leader was executed, his ally, Adolf Hitler, committed suicide in Führerbunker, who had been in hiding since that year. But is the “head of state” affected by Mussolini’s fateful death?
Although the historian and author of Hitler’s Last Days (1947), Hugh Trevor-Roper , claimed that the German dictator’s decision was “firm” from the beginning, signaling that as soon as the Nazi hid in his destiny bunker it was sealed, crucial information supports the thesis that Hitler was afraid of ending up like Mussolini .
One of the most relevant points to understand the theory comes from a speech by Hermann Göring , a senior member of the Nazi Party. During the Nuremberg trials in 1946, the Führer’s ally claimed that on hearing of the death of the fascist dictator, Hitler proclaimed “This will never happen to me”.
Also on that April 29, 1945, Adolf drafted his will, with a clear reference to the episode involving Benito and his cronies. “I do not wish to fall into the hands of an enemy who demands a new show organized by the Jews for the amusement of their hysterical masses,” noted the Nazi.
Further proof that Hitler was trying, at all costs, to prevent the enemies from having a chance of getting close to his corpse was his decision after taking his own life, along with his new wife , Eva Braun .
The order was that, after the suicide, his body would be incinerated; what has become reality. Thus, when Soviet troops entered the bunker, there were no longer enough traces to prey on.
On the one hand, Hitler’s action helped the Allies to prevent the body – or the grave – from later becoming a place of pilgrimage for resistant members of the Nazi Party; as happened with Mussolini . However, the German dictator was also freed if he suffered the wrath of all who were against his regime, marked by hatred and persecution.