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,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!