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A Young Mussolini

Written by: George Chittenden : 14 May 2019

This mugshot photo was taken on June 20th, 1903 in Bern, Switzerland. Do you recognise the powerful jaw and dark piercing eyes? The man in the photo is none other than Benito Mussolini who was arrested by the Bernese police because of his support of a violent general strike. He spent two weeks in jail, before being deported to Italy where he was released.

A year earlier he’d moved to Switzerland where he’d become active in the Italian socialist movement. Mussolini was arrested again, this time in Geneva in 1904. Of course he’d go on to lead the National Fascist Party, and rule Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943. Benito Mussolini dropped the illusion of democracy in 1925, and established a dictatorship. Years later in 1945 as allied troops were advancing into northern Italy Mussolini was caught and shot, two days before Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide.

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