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Mussolini's Ghost: Italy's Duce in History and Memory

From: History & Memory
Volume 18, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2006
pp. 86-119 | 10.1353/ham.2006.0008


This article explores the intense debate sparked in Italy by the public broadcast in 1994 of a documentary called Combat Film, featuring footage taken by American soldiers in the closing stages of World War II, including at Milan's Piazzale Loreto the day after Mussolini's execution. The footage of Mussolini's bloodied and disfigured corpse lying alongside that of his mistress served as a jarring history lesson for a new generation of Italians. The controversy and public soul-searching sparked by the documentary—presented as it was, when it was—reflect the dynamics of remembering the legacy of fascism and antifascism at the end of the Cold War.

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