Figure 1.--Here we have a photo showing Vittorio and Bruno Mussolini. The two older sons of Benito Mussolini are playing with a ball on the beach. The photograph was taken on eastern coast near Rimini. The Mussolini family originated in this region. Vittorio was born in 1916 and Bruno in 1918, so the picture was taken in the mid-1920s. The boys are wearing a sort of beach long trousers that I never seen before.
Mussolini was by all accounts one of the worst fathers of all the World War II leaders. Mussolini had a secret family before he became prominent. One reports suggests that Mussolini commited his first wife Ida Dalser to a lunatic asylum (1917). Mussolini denounced her as "dangerous, unbalanced, and criminal". He labeled her an "enemy alien". She lived for 10 years before dieing in the asylum (1927). As he never married Dasler, the family was an embsarassment when he became prominent. Italy's Fascist Government suppressed any information about it and few Italians knew anything about his first family until after World War II and even today accounts were sketchy. Benito Albino (1915-?) was illegitimate and he grew up under the supervision of guardians because his mothervhad been institutionalized. Accounts of his deah vary. Some say he was also istitutionalized and died there. Others say he died in a World War II naval battle. Mussolini married Donna Rachele. They had four children. Edda (1910- ) was by all accounts his favorite and looks most like her father. The two oldest boys were Vittorio (1916) and Bruno (1918). They were born very close together and grew up very close. A third son Romano (1927- ) was born later. Mussolini also had mistresses. The most famous was Clara Petacci. She and his wife had a notable confrontation during the Salo Republic era. Mussolini apparently wisely stayed in his office during the confrontation. At the end of the War, Mussolini tried to escape Italy in a German military column. They were given up by the Germans to Italian partians who shot them and strung up in at an Esso gas station in the Piazzale Loreto in Milan.
Mussolini married married Rachele Guidi (1890-1979) in 1915 (civil weddings) and in 1925 (Roman Catholic weddings). She was commonly referred to as Donna Rachele is a deference form, something like Lady Rachele. They had five children. Edda (1910- ) was by all accounts his favorite and looked most like her father. The two oldest boys were Vittorio (1916) and Bruno (1918). They were born very close together and grew up very close. A third son Romano (1927- ) and second daugter Anna Maria (1929- ) were born later. He was not an engaged father. Raising the children was left to his wife and Mussolini himself was away much of the time. He seems to have taken little real interest in his children.
Edda was the oldest child. She was borm before her parents were married. Edda by all accounts his favorite and looked a good deal like him. Some say ever her persinality was similar. As a teenager she became increasinglky obstinate and willing to defy her parents. She liked the high life becoming what one might be a swinger. Mussolini arranged a marriage to Count Galeazzo Ciano. Ciano became prominent in the Fascist hierarchy, serving as Foreign Minister. His diary is an important source of information on Axis World War II diplomacy. Some presumed that Ciano would suceed Mussolini rather than ond of his sons. Ciano voted with the Fascist Grand Council to remove Mussolini from office after the Allies seized Sicily (July 1944). After the NAZIs occupied Italy, they arrested Ciano and he was shot. Edda managed to reach Switzerland with her three children.
She may have been his favorite, but she did not reciprocate his affection. She remarked, "There are only two solutions that will rehabilitate him in my eyes, to run away or to kill himself."
Vittorio became an enthusiastic Fascist. He became a volunteer pilot at age 19. He apparently ebjoyed the excitement of the War. Some say he ghad a cruel nature.
Vittorio went to Germany when his father was arrested (July 1943). He was with Hitler when after being rescued by Scorzini, his father was flow to meet the Führer (September 1943). Vittorio at the end of the War helped negotiate the surrender of the remaining Fascist hierarchy in northern Italy (April 1945). He then went into hiding.
Bruno loved flying. He was an air force captain during World War II. He was killed while testing a new bomber.
Romano was born almost 10 years after his older brothers. He had even less to do with his father than his siblings. By this time Mussolini was spending very little time at home. He is said to have adored his father, albeit from afar. Unlike his brothers, he was too young for the War. He was, however, arrested, and briefly imprisoned with his mother and sister, Anna Maria. As an adult he became a jazz pianist.
Mussolini also had mistresses. The most famous was Clara Petacci. She and his wife had a notable confrontation during the Salo Republic era. Mussolini apparently wisely stayed in his office during the confrontation. At the end of the War, Mussolini tried to escape Italy in a German military column. They were given up by the Germans to Italian partians who shot them and strung up in at an Esso gas station in the Piazzale Loreto in Milan.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to Main Mussolini page]
[Return to Main biography "M" page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Satellite sites] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]