Tuesday, May. 10, 2011

Benito Mussolini's Brain

In 1966, twenty-one years after Benito Mussolini was executed, America gave part of the former Italian dictator's brain back to his widow. In Rachele Mussolini's memoir, she writes that, to her horror, she discovered Americans had "taken away half of his brain," explaining that the Americans must have "wanted to know what makes a dictator." It turns out the U.S. government had requested a sample of Il Duce's brain ostensibly to study it, but also as a macabre trophy. Forty-three years later, Mussolini's granddaughter Alessandro tipped off police that someone was selling glass vials alleged to hold the remaining brains and blood of Mussolini on eBay for 15,000 Euros. eBay promptly removed the listing.