On this day in 1945 the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were executed by members of the Italian resistance movement. Mussolini became Prime Minister in 1922 and became head of government and ‘Il Duce’ in 1925. Mussolini’s Italy was a dictatorial and ruthless totalitarian state. He took Italy into World War Two in 1940 on the side of Germany, but by 1943 support for him had dwindled and he was defeated in a vote at the Grand Council of Fascism and was arrested by the King. He managed to escape but was soon captured and executed on April 28th. When Petacci was shot, Mussolini told the shooters to kill him also. His body was taken to Milan and hung for public viewing.
“Look at his face, the emotions on his face don’t suit him.”
– Mussolini’s executioner after shooting the dictator