Galeazzo Ciano

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Galeazzo Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano 2.jpg
Ciano as Foreign Minister.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 June 1936 6 February 1943
Duce Benito Mussolini
Preceded byBenito Mussolini
Succeeded byBenito Mussolini
Minister of Press and Propaganda
In office
23 June 1935 5 September 1935
Duce Benito Mussolini
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded by Dino Alfieri
Undersecretary for Press and Propaganda
In office
6 September 1934 26 June 1935
Duce Benito Mussolini
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Head of the Government Press Office
In office
August 1933 4 September 1934
Duce Benito Mussolini
Preceded byGaetano Polverelli
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born
Gian Galeazzo Ciano

(1903-03-18)18 March 1903
Livorno, Tuscany, Italy
Died11 January 1944(1944-01-11) (aged 40)
Verona, Italian Social Republic
Cause of death Executed by firing squad
Political party National Fascist Party (PNF)
Spouse(s)
Edda Mussolini (m. 1930)
Children3
Parents Costanzo Ciano (father)
Carolina Pini (mother)
Profession
  • Diplomat
  • politician

Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari (pronounced  [ɡaleˈattso ˈtʃaːno] ; 18 March 1903 – 11 January 1944) was Foreign Minister of Fascist Italy from 1936 until 1943 and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. On 11 January 1944, Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini, under pressure from Nazi Germany. [1] Ciano wrote and left behind a diary [2] that has been used as a source by several historians, including William Shirer in his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and in the four-hour HBO documentary-drama Mussolini and I .

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Italian minister

The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs is the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy. The office was one of the positions which Italy inherited from the Kingdom of Sardinia where it was the most ancient ministry of the government: this origin gives to the office a ceremonial primacy in the Italian cabinet.

Kingdom of Italy kingdom on the Appenine Peninsula between 1861 and 1946

The Kingdom of Italy was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when civil discontent led an institutional referendum to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state.

Benito Mussolini Duce and President of the Council of Ministers of Italy. Leader of the National Fascist Party and subsequent Republican Fascist Party

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from his golpe in 1922 to 1943, and Duce of Fascism from 1919 to his execution in 1945 during the Italian civil war. As dictator of Italy and founder of fascism, Mussolini inspired several totalitarian rulers such as Adolf Hitler.

Contents

Early life

Gian Galeazzo Ciano was born in Livorno, Italy, in 1903. He was the son of Costanzo Ciano and his wife Carolina Pini; his father was an Admiral and World War I hero in the Royal Italian Navy (for which service he was given the aristocratic title of Count by Victor Emmanuel III). The elder Ciano, nicknamed Ganascia ("The Jaw"), was a founding member of the National Fascist Party and re-organizer of the Italian merchant navy in the 1920s. Costanzo Ciano was not above extracting private profit from his public office. He would use his influence to depress the stock of a company, after which he would buy a controlling interest, then increase his wealth after its value rebounded. Among other holdings, Costanzo Ciano owned a newspaper, farmland in Tuscany and other properties worth huge sums of money. As a result, his son Galeazzo was accustomed to living a high-profile and glamorous life, which he maintained almost until the end of his life. Father and son both took part in Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome.

Livorno Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Livorno is a port city on the Ligurian Sea on the western coast of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of 158,493 residents in December 2017. It has traditionally been known in English as Leghorn.

Costanzo Ciano Italian admiral

Costanzo Ciano, 1st Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian naval officer and politician. He was the father of Galeazzo Ciano.

Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM". The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر‎, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay. The French version – amiral without the additional d – tends to add evidence for the Arab origin.

After studying Philosophy of Law at the University of Rome, Galeazzo Ciano worked briefly as a journalist before choosing a diplomatic career; soon, he served as an attaché in Rio de Janeiro.

Sapienza University of Rome Italian university founded in Rome in 1303

The Sapienza University of Rome, also called simply Sapienza or the University of Rome, is a collegiate research university located in Rome, Italy. Formally known as Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", it is one of the largest European universities by enrollments and one of the oldest in history, founded in 1303. The University is one of the most prestigious Italian universities, commonly ranking first in national rankings and in Southern Europe.

In diplomacy, an attaché is a person who is assigned to the diplomatic or administrative staff of a higher placed person or another service or agency. Although a loanword from French, in English the word is not modified according to gender.

On 24 April 1930, when he was 27 years old, he married Benito Mussolini's daughter Edda Mussolini, and they had three children (Fabrizio, Raimonda, and Marzio), though he was known to have had several affairs while married. Soon after their marriage, Ciano left for Shanghai to serve as Italian consul. On his return to Italy in 1935, he became the minister of press and propaganda in the government of his father-in-law.

Edda Mussolini Benito Mussolinis daughter

Edda Mussolini was the child of Benito Mussolini, Italy's fascist dictator from 1922 to 1943. Upon her marriage to fascist propagandist and foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, she became Edda Ciano, Countess of Cortellazzo and Buccari. Her husband was executed in January 1944 for dissenting from Mussolini's rule. She strongly denied her involvement in the National Fascist Party regime and had an affair with a Communist after her father's execution by the Italian partisans in April 1945.

Foreign Minister

Ciano volunteered for action in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (1935–36) as a bomber squadron commander. He received two silver medals of valor and reached the rank of captain. His future opponent Alessandro Pavolini served in the same squadron as a lieutenant. Upon his highly trumpeted return from the war as a "hero" in 1936, he was appointed by Mussolini as replacement Foreign Minister. Ciano began to keep a diary a short time after his appointment and kept it active up to his 1943 dismissal as foreign minister. In 1937, he was allegedly involved in planning the murder of the brothers Carlo and Nello Rosselli, two exiled anti-fascist activists killed in the French spa town of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne on 9 June. Also in 1937, prior to the Italian annexation in 1939, Gian Galeazzo Ciano was named an Honorary Citizen of Tirana, Albania. [3]

Second Italo-Ethiopian War 1935–1936 war between Italy and Ethiopia

The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a colonial war fought from 3 October 1935 until 19 February 1937, although Addis Ababa was captured on 5 May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and those of the Ethiopian Empire. Ethiopia was defeated, annexed and subjected to military occupation. The Ethiopian Empire became a part of the Italian colony of Italian East Africa. Fighting continued until the Italian defeat in East Africa in 1941, during the East African Campaign of the Second World War.

Alessandro Pavolini Italian politician and writer

Alessandro Pavolini was an Italian politician, journalist, and essayist, notable for his involvement in the Fascist government, during World War II, and also, for his cruelty against the opponents of fascism.

Carlo Rosselli Italian political leader, journalist, historian and activist

Carlo Rosselli was an Italian political leader, journalist, historian and anti-fascist activist, first in Italy and then abroad. He developed a theory of reformist, non-Marxist socialism inspired by the British Labour movement that he described as "liberal socialism". Rosselli founded the anti-fascist militant movement Giustizia e Libertà. Rosselli personally took part in combat in the Spanish Civil War where he served on the Republican side.

Ciano arriving in Albania in April 1939. Ciano arriving in Albania on April 1939.jpg
Ciano arriving in Albania in April 1939.

Before World War II, Mussolini may have been preparing Ciano to succeed him as Duce . [4] At the start of the war in 1939, Ciano did not agree with Mussolini's plans and knew that Italy's armed forces were ill-prepared for a major war. When Mussolini formally declared war on France in 1940, he wrote in his diary, "I am sad, very sad. The adventure begins. May God help Italy!" After 1939, Ciano became increasingly disenchanted with Nazi Germany and the course of World War II, although when the Italian regime embarked on an ill-advised "parallel war" alongside Germany, he went along, despite the terribly-executed Italian invasion of Greece and its subsequent setbacks. Prior to the German campaign in France in 1940, Ciano leaked a warning of imminent invasion to neutral Belgium.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

<i>Duce</i> Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and cognate with duke

Duce is an Italian title, derived from the Latin word dux, and a cognate of duke. National Fascist Party leader Benito Mussolini was identified by Fascists as Il Duce of the movement. In 1925 it became a reference to the dictatorial position of Sua Eccellenza Benito Mussolini, Capo del Governo, Duce del Fascismo e Fondatore dell'Impero. Mussolini held this title together with that of President of the Council of Ministers: this was the constitutional position which entitled him to rule Italy on behalf of the King of Italy. Founder of the Empire was added for the exclusive use by Mussolini in recognition of his founding of an official legal entity of the Italian Empire on behalf of the King in 1936 following Italy's victory in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. The position was held by Mussolini until 1943, when he was removed from office by the King and the position of "Duce" was dismantled, while Marshal The 1st Duke of Addis Abeba was appointed Presidente del Consiglio.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

In late 1942 and early 1943, following the Axis defeat in North Africa, other major setbacks on the Eastern Front, and with an Anglo-American assault on Sicily looming, Ciano turned against the doomed war and actively pushed for Italy's exit from the conflict. He was silenced by being removed from his post as foreign minister. The rest of the cabinet was removed as well on 5 February 1943. He was offered the post of ambassador to the Holy See, and presented his credentials to Pope Pius XII on 1 March. [5] In this role he remained in Rome, watched closely by Mussolini. The regime's position had become even more unstable by the coming summer, however, and court circles were already probing the Allied commands for some sort of agreement.

Ciano (far right) standing alongside (right to left) Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Edouard Daladier, and Neville Chamberlain prior to the signing of the Munich Agreement. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R69173, Munchener Abkommen, Staatschefs.jpg
Ciano (far right) standing alongside (right to left) Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Édouard Daladier, and Neville Chamberlain prior to the signing of the Munich Agreement.

On the afternoon of 24 July 1943, Mussolini summoned the Fascist Grand Council to its first meeting since 1939, prompted by the Allied invasion of Sicily. At that meeting, Mussolini announced that the Germans were thinking of evacuating the south. This led Dino Grandi to launch a blistering attack on his longtime comrade. Grandi put on the table a resolution asking King Victor Emmanuel III to resume his full constitutional powers – in effect, a vote leading to Mussolini's ousting from leadership. The motion won by an unexpectedly large margin, 19-8, with Ciano voting in favor. Mussolini's replacement was Pietro Badoglio, an Italian general in both World Wars.

Mussolini did not think that the vote had any real value, and showed up at work the next morning like any other day. That afternoon, the king summoned him to Villa Savoia and dismissed him from office. Upon leaving the villa, Mussolini was arrested. For the next two months he was moved from place to place to hide him and prevent his rescue by the Germans. Ultimately, Mussolini was sent to Gran Sasso, a mountain resort in Abruzzo. He was kept in complete isolation in a hotel in Campo Imperatore until rescued by German paratroopers on 12 September 1943. Mussolini then set up a puppet government in the area of northern Italy still under German occupation called the Italian Social Republic.

Death

Ciano trial in Verona, 1944. Processo Verona 1944.png
Ciano trial in Verona, 1944.

Ciano was dismissed from his post by the new government of Italy put in place after his father-in-law was overthrown. Ciano, Edda and their three children fled to Germany on 28 August 1943, in fear of being arrested by the new Italian government, but the Germans turned him over to Mussolini's administration. He was then formally arrested on charges of treason. Under German and Fascist pressure, Mussolini had Ciano imprisoned before he was tried and found guilty. After the Verona trial and sentence, on 11 January 1944, Ciano was executed by a firing squad along with 4 others (Emilio De Bono, Luciano Gottardi, Giovanni Marinelli and Carlo Pareschi) who had voted for Mussolini's ousting. As a further humiliation, the condemned men were tied to chairs and shot in the back, though according to some accounts, Ciano managed to twist his chair around at the last minute to face the firing squad before uttering his final words, "Long live Italy!" [6]

Ciano is remembered for his Diaries 1937–1943, a revealing daily record of his meetings with Mussolini, Hitler, Ribbentrop, foreign ambassadors and other political figures, which later proved embarrassing to the Nazi leadership and the fascist diehards.[ citation needed ] Edda tried to barter his papers to the Germans in return for his life; Gestapo agents helped her confidant Emilio Pucci rescue some of them from Rome. Pucci was then a lieutenant in the Italian Air Force, but would find fame after the war as a fashion designer. When Hitler vetoed the plan, she hid the bulk of the papers at a clinic in Ramiola, near Medesano and on 9 January 1944, Pucci helped Edda escape to Switzerland with five diaries covering the war years. [7] The diary was first published in English in London in 1946, edited by Malcolm Muggeridge, covering 1939 to 1943. The complete English version was published in 2002.[ citation needed ]

Children

Gian Galeazzo and Edda Ciano had three offspring:

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References

Notes

  1. Moseley, Ray (2004). Mussolini : the last 600 days of il Duce (1. ed.). Dallas: Taylor Trade Publ. p. 79. ISBN   1589790952.
  2. Ciano, Galeazzo (2002). Diary, 1937-1943 (1st complete and unabridged English ed.). New York: Enigma Books. ISBN   1929631022.
  3. Municipality of Tirana website Archived 12 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine , tirana.gov.al; accessed 5 January 2016.
  4. Gunther, John (1940). Inside Europe. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 257–258.
  5. Pius XII speech at the presentation of credentials (in Italian)
  6. "Mussolini's Daughter’s Affair with Communist Revealed in Love Letters". The Telegraph , 17 April 2009; retrieved 20 January 2010.
  7. McGaw Smyth, Howard (1969). "The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 23 April 2008.

Bibliography

Italian nobility
Preceded by
Costanzo Ciano
Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari
1939–1944
Succeeded by
Fabrizio Ciano
Government offices
Preceded by
Gaetano Polverelli
Head of the Government Press Office
1933–1934
Succeeded by
None (Office abolished)
Himself as
Undersecretary for Press and Propaganda
Preceded by
None (Office established)
Undersecretary for Press and Propaganda
1934–1935
Succeeded by
None (Office abolished)
Himself as
Minister for Press and Propaganda
Preceded by
None (Office established)
Minister of Press and Propaganda
1935
Succeeded by
Dino Alfieri
Preceded by
Benito Mussolini
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1936–1943
Succeeded by
Benito Mussolini