ITALY: La Compagna

In Italy's postwar Constituent Assembly one day in 1946, the roving eye of Communist Leader Palmiro Togliatti came to rest on one of the comrades. "Let's move down a couple of benches," Togliatti suggested to an aide. "I want to sit opposite that comrade with the pretty legs." It was a fateful move.

Two years later, as Togliatti was leaving Rome's Chamber of Deputies, pistol shots cracked in the heavy July air, and Togliatti fell wounded. With a scream of horror, a woman darted forward and flung herself protectively over Togliatti's body. The madman assassin, betrayed perhaps by chivalrous instincts,...

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