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PostAssassination Attempts on Mussolini (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 05/28/19 1:03 pm)
Several assassination attempts were made against Mussolini. The annus horribilis was 1926; however on 4 November 1925 Tito Zaniboni was arrested while preparing to shoot with a Steyr-Mannlicher from the window of a hotel facing the place where Mussolini was scheduled to give a speech. The following year on 7 April we have the attempt by Lady Violet Gibson. The British government presented its excuse and the lady was sent to the UK.
On 11 September the anarchist Gino Lucetti threw a bomb against Mussolini's car, but it bounced back and injured 8 people. Lucetti was arrested and received a prison sentence.
On 31 October, 16-year-old Anteo Zamboni shot Mussolini but only lacerated his sash. The poor young fellow was immediately killed by the guards. Anteo was from a family of anarchists. His father and aunt were arrested and sentenced to jail for complicity, but soon Mussolini pardoned them and set them free.
The rank and file after the first episode sought a law permitting the death penalty. At first Mussolini rejected this law but, after some riots, at the end of the year the law was approved. The law prescribed the death penalty for whoever made an attempt on the life of the king, his heir or the Prime Minister, as well as serious attempts against the public peace.
In 1931 and 1932 there were another two assassination attempts against Mussolini by the anarchists Michele Schirru and Angelo Pellegrino. In 1931 a new law prescribed the death penalty for serious common crimes. In any case, prior to the Civil War the death penalty was very seldom used.
The young lady Laura D'Oriana is the only woman executed prior to the Civil War. She was a spy for the British Secret Service who sought information on the Italian Navy, first from the submarine base of Bordeaux and then from Genoa and Naples. She was executed on 16 January 1943. A docu-fiction was made about her by Sky's "History" channel.
JE comments: Nobody did political assassinations with the flair of the anarchists. Has there ever been a book-length study of anarchist assassinations, say from Leon Czolgosz through the 1930s? Spain in 1936-'39 was the swan song of anarchist "hegemony."
This post is WAISworld's swan song for the next 20 hours. We are in Toronto, and will shortly board the plane for Europe. The next WAIS postings will come from sister-in-law Justyna's house in Warsaw, tomorrow afternoon. Pax et lux.