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One of history’s great family dramas played out during World War II, as told to C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb by Jay Nordlinger, author of Children of Monsters:
“This was a grand affair. This was one of the great occasions of Italian fascism: the wedding of a fascist princess, Edda [Mussolini], with a fascist prince, young Count Ciano. And Ciano became Mussolini’s — father-in-law’s — foreign minister. But then there was a rift because Ciano voted the wrong way on the Fascist Grand Council. He voted in effect to restore powers to the king. This is when Italy was clearly losing the war.
So, Mussolini, as you remember, is imprisoned by the king, then he’s snatched by the Nazis, and they set him up in a little rump government in Northern Italy. And Ciano was caught and slated for execution, and this drives Edda wild and she pleads with her father. But the father will not stay the execution. And Ciano was executed. And for a while, Edda says, ‘My name is anathema to me; I am no longer a Mussolini.’ But eventually she forgave, and loved her late father and her late husband in equal measure.
It’s a very strange psychological case.”
Watch the full interview here.