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The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden

acquisition of Ciano Papers (1945),
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The Ciano Papers

"7. During this first interrogation, no questions were asked about any documents and the brothers did not volunteer any information about them. As a side remark Dr. Elvezio Melocchi mentioned that he had concealed the two diaries behind the books on the shelves of his office. The interrogation by the Germans took place in that room and they looked over some of the books without discovering the diaries. The remaining documents, phonograph records and the jewel case, Dr. Elvezio kept in his own room. None of these were taken away by the Germans at that time.
"8. Shortly afterwards the Italian police appeared at the Sanitarium, wanted to arrest the two brothers and to close the establishment because of its being connected with the Countess's escape. The brothers were convinced that there was an Italian spy among the establishment's personnel, who was reporting to the Italian police, often exaggerating the happenings in order to give himself more importance.
"9. It was not until some time in August that the next development took place. At that time there came to the Sanitarium a man who claimed to be a nephew of Professor Fossati, a well-known gynecologist from Milan. This man stated that he came from Switzerland as emissary for Edda Ciano to obtain the documents left behind by her. Elvezio Melocchi was caught off his guard and asked for the written instructions from the Countess, as it had been arranged between her and the doctors that the things left behind would only be delivered upon written orders from her. The man left but returned two days later bringing a letter purported to have come from the Countess. It was an obvious falsification and the doctors decided not to hand over the things, pretending that they were no longer at Ramiola, which was not a safe place for them, but that they had been taken away and hidden somewhere in Florence. The pseudo-messenger left again. Dr. Walter Melocchi noticed that the car in which he had come had a German license identified as coming from Trieste.
1 "10. A few days later two agents of the SD from Parma appeared at the Sanitarium accompanied by an SS officer whom they recognized as one of those who conducted the original interrogation in January. Elvezio and Walter Melocchi were both taken to Parma, to via Carlo Alberto XIII (Stradone). A number of the German military were lined up on their entering the building and generally a show of importance was put on, presumably to intimidate the brothers. By that time both of them were quite nervous and unwilling to take any chances on behalf of the Countess. Therefore when they were told that they would be taken to Florence to produce the documents left behind by Edda, they admitted without further difficulties that there was no point of going there as the documents were kept in the Sanitarium at Ramiola. They were taken back and turned over to the German SD officials everything they had for the Countess, including a handbag mentioned by them now, for the first time during this narrative. Elvezio Melocchi stated that the Countess had shown him the contents of this handbag which contained a number of letters from Mussolini to her. The Countess qualified these letters as being 'Important for future developments.' When asked whether they had read those letters after Edda's departure the brothers answered in the negative, saying that they never were interested in politics. I then asked them whether they had read the con-
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:25 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 02:15 PM