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The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden

acquisition of Ciano Papers (1945),
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The Ciano Papers

d. Copies of all personal secret documents of Mussolini concerning the most important problems of foreign policy, particularly those bearing on ItaloGerman relations. (Ciano is understood to have copied these documents personally, in long-hand, trusting no one. )" 83
Benini declared categorically that Ciano had told him: "They (The Germans and Republican Fascists) have stripped me of my possessions. I am poor now. But there is one treasure they have not taken which is of more value to me than all the rest: my Diary, now in the hands of my wife."
"Benin! is convinced that, as life-long friend of Ciano and as financial manager of both Galeazzo and Edda, he can persuade the latter to make the document available to Allied authorities. He is equally convinced that Edda Ciano, now reported in Switzerland, has not turned the Diary over to the Germans, since she regards it as an instrument of eventual security for herself and children after the collapse of Germany and the Italian Republican Fascist government."
To assist the American authorities (and incidentally thereby to help his own cause as a former Fascist) and at the same time to fulfill the promise to Galeazzo, Benini on 15 August addressed a letter to Edda, entrusting its delivery to the Americans.
"I was in the Verona prison," Benini wrote, "from the 30th of November to the 30th of January and I was able to get in touch with Galeazzo in spite of the strict guard kept. I spent the last tragic night of January second [sic] with him, and I am burning with the desire to bring you his last wishes, his last words, and his advices." Somewhat cryptically Benini mentioned that "He praised all that you had done for him, upon you he placed the certainty that some day he will be truly understood as to his thoughts and actions in Italy and abroad. He has counted on you so that the world might have an irrefutable revelation of so many capital truths." 84
Ambassador Kirk was consulted and suggested that the matter of securing the diary was of sufficient importance to warrant its being, taken up through the War Department with a view to possible diplomatic action in Switzerland.
83Note that Benin!, in speaking to Colonel Cumming, drew no distinction between the diary and the supporting papers.
84 The letter in English is enclosure No. I in Despatch No. 703, 25 August 1944.
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:25 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 02:16 PM