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Why Was Benito Mussolini Killed? The Fall Of Fascism

Why Was Benito Mussolini Killed
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Benito Mussolini was born on 29th July  1883 in Italy to a socialist father, who later established the ideology of Fascism. But, how did Benito Mussolini rise to power and why was Benito Mussolini killed by the anti-fascists? Why did he establish the Fascist party in the first place? 

This article will walk you through the pages of history and will uncover the gradual rise of Mussolini from a socialist to a fascist with special importance on how and why was Benito Mussolini killed. It will also reveal why was Benito Mussolini important in WW2.

How Did Benito Mussolini Rise To Power: The Birth Of Fascist

Before throwing light on why Benito Mussolini was killed, let us take a short glimpse at the early life of Mussolini which contributed to the shaping of his future thoughts and ideologies. 

Born to a socialist father, his childhood days were shaped by the principles of socialism. After returning to his homeland from Switzerland, he supported and joined the Socialist Party but was forced to walk away in the year 1914 when he criticized the members for opposing WW1. 

After the initial failure of establishing a party inspired by Fascism, he finally succeeded in organizing the Fascisti. The Fascists believed in the rule of a leader who will exercise his powers on the subordinates. Supported by the elites, Mussolini secured the position of Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and later went to announce dictatorship over Italy.

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Why Was Benito Mussolini Important In WW2? 

During WW1, after Italy joined hands with Britain, Mussolini is reported to be called to participate in the war. After the Allied Power and the Axis Powers set for WW2, Mussolini was in a dilemma as to who should he join, the Allied or the Axis. But his belief in Germany made him join Hitler and thus he took Italy to WW2 on the side of the Central Powers. 

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini

Though initially Germany and its Italian allies were proved lucky in the war, the year 1943 witnessed the downfall of the Axis Powers with Mussolini being arrested by the Allied Forces. Italy was then made to sign the Armistice of Cassibile, followed by Hitler establishing Mussolini as the leader of the Italian Social Republic, which was in reality a puppet for the Germans. 

The year 1944 witnessed yet another problem for Mussolini. The anti-fascists became stronger by this time and rose for their rights, which brewed internal disturbances and conflicts. Adding to the problem was the threat of the Allied Forces on the Italian Social Republic, which finally resulted in the victory of the Allied Forces. Feared by the increasing internal conflict and the increasing influence of the Allied Forces, Mussolini escaped to Milan where he failed badly to come to peace with the Italian partisans. 

After unsuccessful attempts, Mussolini, who was joined by his wife, Claretta Petacci on the way to their escape to Dongo was attacked by Communist partisans who later drove them to De Maria where he with his wife were later executed, two days prior to Hitler’s suicide. 

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How And Why Was Benito Mussolini Killed? – A Controversial Issue

Mussolini emerged as a brutal dictator after the establishment of his Fascist Party. Though he recognized the upper elites, he largely ignored the cause of the poor and the economically deprived. This enraged the lower classes and they joined the Communist party to assassinate Mussolini and bring an end to the Fascist rule in Italy. 

But who killed Mussolini still remains a subject of great controversy and debate. While different people in Italy narrate a different version of the same story, the Allied Powers have their own theory of the death of Mussolini. 

The official story narrates that the CLNAI, the assembly of anti-fascists, announced an execution order for Mussolini. The senior communist in the party, Luigi Longo stated that he ordered a communist partisan of the same party, Walter Audisio to head out for Dongo and execute the dictator. Supported by local partisans of Dongo, Longo and his associate took the couple to villa Belmonte followed by the execution of the couple. 

There are differences in the statements of the assassinators. While Audisio stated that Mussolini did not utter a word before his execution, his mate recalled that there were no readings of the death sentence and the assassin did act normal and was high in determination. The local partisan reported that he argued for the execution of Petacci but his words were not bothered to be followed and there was no formality done before execution. 

Benito Mussolini hanged along with her mistress

The following day, their bodies were transported to Milan and were dumped on Piazzale Loreto where the earth witnessed heights of cruelty. Bodies were tortured and disfigured and later hung from a metal grid structure from an oil station. After the Allied Forces sent the bodies for examination, reports confirmed that the death was due to a fired bullet hitting close to the heart. 

After his death, his corpse was kept hidden from his family and the public for decades after which Adone Zoli agreed to hand over the remains of the leader to his family in Predappio. A tomb is built in his memory at Predappio. 

While few Italians believe the executor of Mussolini to be Audisio, more than 12 individuals have been recognized who claim to be his assassinator. There is a dispute even over who ordered his execution. While Italians believe it was CLANI, Britain has put forward its own theory. Winston Churchill under the SOE is said to be responsible for the death of Mussolini. The British believe that Mussolini during his escape, had secret agreements paper with him that was signed between Churchill and Mussolini to join Italy with the Allied Powers, but the theory is unaccepted by the majority. 

Final Words

While the topic, “How And Why Was Benito Mussolini Killed” remains a topic of controversy for decades, it is widely accepted that his prosecutor was Audisio and other members of the Communist Party. Some also believe that Hitler was mentally affected by his murder and that he chose to commit suicide rather than surrender to his enemy.

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