December 29, 1943

But Is Il Duce Dead?
LONDON, England—Reports on German radio last night indicate Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the leader of Spain, has recognized the fascist republican government of Benito Mussolini. This formal acknowledgement has been anticipated since the Nazis installed Mussolini in the puppet government following Italy’s surrender to Allied forces, which was official on September 3 of this year and publically announced by General Dwight D. Eisenhower three days later. However, there is question as to the condition of the Italian dictator. A dispatch today from Madrid to the London Daily News quotes a diplomatic source stating Mussolini died ten days ago in a German hospital. The dispatch stated the dictator, known as Il Duce, died “…from long-standing stomach trouble complicated by acute mental derangement.” There has been no confirmation of Mussolini’s fate.

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