FOREIGN N E WS,ITALY: Axis (1936-1943)

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Marshal Badoglio and his King escaped the Nazi net. At week's end, from refuge somewhere in the countryside, the Marshal and the King belatedly called upon their countrymen to resist the Germans.

The Allies' Hand. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill addressed a joint message to Premier Badoglio and the people of Italy:

"Now is the time for every Italian to strike his blow. The liberating armies of the Western World are coming to your rescue. . . . The German terror in Italy will not last long. . . . You, by helping in this great surge of liberation, will place yourselves once more among the true and long-proved friends of your country, from whom you have been so wrongfully estranged."

In the '20s, spokesmen of the democracies had lauded Fascismo and thereby helped to prop it up. Financier Otto Kahn had said: "Mussolini is far too wise and right-minded to lead his people into hazardous foreign adventures." Pedagogue Nicholas Murray Butler had noted "the stupendous improvement which Fascism has brought." Cardinal O'Connell had observed: "Mussolini is a genius." Former U.S. Ambassador to Rome Richard Washburn Child had edited the Duce's My Autobiography. Later, Industrialist My ron Taylor had admired "the successes of Premier Mussolini in disciplining the nation." In 1938 Winston Churchill observed: "Had there been no war, . . . Mussolini would still have been great."

That had been a great mistake, and the leaders of democracy had come to know it. Now Italy's liberals and democrats, dispersed and long underground, cried for encouragement. In time, they hoped, the Italian people would freely choose their own rulers, and Italy would have what Gaetano Salvemini called "the dawn of a second Risorgimento."

* In the turbulent Middle Ages many a Pope was imprisoned or murdered by temporal powers. In 1527 the army of Emperor Charles V jailed Pope Clement VII for seven months in the castle of St. Angelo. In 1809 Emperor Napoleon kidnapped Pius VII, brought him to Fontainebleau, held him in custody until the Empire's fall.

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