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PRIME MINISTER BENITO (IL DUCE) MUSSOLINI (ITALY) - AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH 11/21/1922 - HFSID 45720

BENITO MUSSOLINI 3½x5 sepia photo of Mussolini with bowler hat, spats and cane, signed the year he took power. Photograph signed: "Mussolini/Locarno/21 Nov 1922". Sepia, 3½x5. Pictured with Mariano D'Amelio, a political leader from Rome.

Sale Price $2,868.75

Reg. $3,375.00

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BENITO MUSSOLINI
3½x5 sepia photo of Mussolini with bowler hat, spats and cane, signed the year he took power.
Photograph signed: "Mussolini/Locarno/21 Nov 1922". Sepia, 3½x5. Pictured with Mariano D'Amelio, a political leader from Rome. Signed less than a month after Mussolini, at the age of 39, had become the youngest Premier in the history of Italy (October 31, 1922). Less than three years later, Locarno, a Swiss city on the northern tip of Lake Maggiore, would be the site of treaty negotiations (October 1925) between Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy. Under the terms of the Locarno Treaties, which were signed in London in December 1925, Germany, France and Belgium agreed not to attack each other and Great Britain and Italy were guarantors against such aggression. In the event that an attack was made, the remaining signatories would come to the aid of the besieged nation. Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), a member of the Italian Parliament, had led a Fascist march on Rome in 1922. When the Cabinet resigned, King Victor Emmanuel asked Mussolini to form a ministry. Il Duce (The Leader) of the Fascists took over a number of ministries himself. He changed the electoral law to assure Fascist control of government and, by 1925, openly instituted a dictatorship (which would last until 1943), suppressing all opposition parties and newspapers. In 1929, the year before he signed this photograph, a concordat with the Vatican was signed in which the Italian state was finally recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Beginning in the 1930s, Mussolini instituted rigid governmental control of the country's industries and large sums were spent on public works. After Achille Starace became Secretary of the Fascist Party in December 1931, he proclaimed that all meetings and public occasions would begin with the official Roman "salute to the Duce" and that all Fascists would wear military-style uniforms. Mussolini, who was finally deposed and arrested on July 25, 1943, was rescued by the Germans several months later and set up a Fascist state in Northern Italy. In April 1945, as the Allied armies were approaching Milan, Mussolini was captured and executed by Italian partisans as he attempted to seek refuge in Switzerland. Ink slightly smudged at the Muss" of signature. Surface creased, touching date. Pencil notes (unknown hand) on verso (no show-through). Overall, fine condition.

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