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The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden

acquisition of Ciano Papers (1945),
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The Ciano Papers

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Lieutenant Pucci, who had stayed with the car while Edda went on, hoping to meet her husband, managed to get the tires repaired and reached Verona about noon. When he got to Edda she looked so distressed and worn out that he scarcely recognized her. They were not able to say very much for they were under constant surveillance by Gestapo agents. They started back for Ramiola, escorted this time by 14 German police in three automobiles. When they got to the clinic the place was under guard both by the Germans and by neo-Fascist police.
Not till she got to her own room did Edda read the letter from her husband which Pucci recalled ran something as follows:
"Darling, -meanwhile you are still living in the wonderful illusion that in a few hours we are going to be together again and free; for me agony has already started. . . . bless the children and bring them up to respect and worship what is right and honorable in life. . . .
Edda now broke down in utter helplessness and frustration, knowing that her husband soon would be shot. The doctors worked over her for some time and after midnight she managed to pull herself together sufficiently to think about her next step. At Puccfs urging she decided to escape into Switzerland with Pucci's help, taking the diaries with her, and threaten its publication if Count Ciano were not released. There were the problems of carrying the documents, of eluding the guards, of getting across the Swiss frontier.
It was quite out of the question for Edda to carry all the diaries and the remaining documents as well. Pucci selected the five booklets of the diaries which covered the war years, wrapped them in a cloth which Edda then wound round her middle as a belt. Pucci had a flair with women's costumes! The first two booklets of the diary, the parcel of documents an "Germania," some personal papers of Edda, and some of her jewels were carefully wrapped up and the package was sealed with wax. Lieutenant Pucci then turned the package over to Dr. Melocchi, one of the two brothers directing the clinic, who assured Pucci that he would hide it where no one could find it, near the electric plant where there was danger of electrocution. The doctor was already initiated in the matter, and furthermore, had connections with the partisans. Dr. Melocchi swore that if Edda
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:23 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 02:13 PM