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Italian Fascism in Colour -

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(generated from captions) of this lost civilisation. it's impossible to escape the legacy Today, along the coast of Peru,

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sacrificial rituals, Here in a variation of the Moche battles against each other. highland villages conduct ceremonial the blood of the opposition, The aim is to spill and fertilise the earth. memory of the north coast of Peru The Moche I think remained in the as their greatest achievement. as the great moment, of Andean culture. They were in a way the Greeks are the Moche and their legacy Yet only now, after 1,500 years, in world history. finally taking their place BBC Broadcast 2005 Subtitles by Dermot Fitzsimons

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were violent nationalists Mussolini and his Fascists of violence. who believed in the systematic use all who opposed them, Fascist Blackshirts attacked like Liberals and Catholics, was socialists, but their main target like the one in Russia. who threatened the revolution provinces across northern Italy, In October, 1922, Fascists seized in their thousands then marched on Rome through force of arms. to demand power

(Crowd cheers) The King gave in fascist prime minister. and made Mussolini the world's first He became a dictator. in power - This is the story of Mussolini a story of mass adulation, a story of dreams of empire,

with Hitler, of a disastrous alliance and ignominious death - and of military failures

in colour. all told for the first time TRIUMPHANT MUSIC AND CHEERING From his earliest days in power,

to restore the glories Mussolini's main aim was of the ancient Roman Empire. CLARINET QUIVERS the reality of Italy in the 1920s. And his main frustration was CLASSICAL GUITAR ACCOMPANIES unstable. It's organised, chaotic,

from the Roman Empire... That was a far cry ..when Italy had been great,

the Mediterranean, when it had really dominated its own massive empire. and it had had to the past And Mussolini looked back "We should be there again." and thought on the Roman emperors. Mussolini modelled his behaviour Mussolini would betray anyone, To equal their ruthlessness, fascist families, even loyal, devoted,

ready to die for their country. VIOLIN CRESCENDOS his own family - He would even betray and favourite daughter. his son-in-law VIOLIN CONTINUES SOLEMNLY Once in power,

the world's first totalitarian state, Mussolini started to build to his will. bending all institutions and people

To build a new type of Italian, with the young. Mussolini knew he had to start (Speaks Italian) In 1925, Mussolini decreed - that the school be inspired "The government demands "by the ideals of fascism." (Speaks Italian) obey, fight. Children were ordered to believe, From the age of 4, into Fascist youth organisations, they were dragooned and black shirts. which supplied them with toy guns

(Speaks Italian) (Children repeat Italian) to be ready to fight for fascism School poems taught children

whenever the Leader needed them. (Speaks Italian) (Children repeat) to, ah, inculcate patriotism, In schools, they tried all school children and they tried to persuade the same thing. that patriotism and fascism are without being a fascist, You couldn't be a patriot without loving Mussolini. and you couldn't be a fascist TEACHER: (Speaks Italian)

sort of write an essay Every school child would have to on 'Why I love Mussolini' of the 20th century'. or 'Why Mussolini's the greatest man TEACHER: (Speaks Italian) for the masses, As well as propaganda

a repressive police state Mussolini also created to enforce obedience to fascism. He had a very powerful machine - and also just by the state police - both created by the Fascist party for surveyance, for spying. extremely far-reaching machine that the Fascist police, I mean, very little went on Fascist polices or one of the various didn't know about. enormous numbers of actions And there were every week. carried out by the police HAUNTING STRINGS Mussolini had enormous power, but knew he still had to appease the 99% of Italians

who were Catholics. And the Vatican also wanted a deal. HAUNTING STRINGS ACCOMPANY PLUCKED CLASSICAL GUITAR As a result of the Risorgimento -

the Italian reunification in the 19th century - the church lost its status and it lost its property. It lost its - the Papal States vanished. So, from 1870 until 1929, the Pope really had no country. In 1929, Mussolini and the Vatican signed the Lateran Pacts

giving the Church virtually everything it wanted. The Lateran Pacts of February 1929, I think, are one of the most important events in the history of 20th century Italy. First of all, they put an end to the Church-State dispute. If you like, they reinserted Catholicism into Italian society. It totally changed, I think, the balance of power between the Catholic Church and Italy and the Italian state.

As with the monarchy, the Vatican much preferred the reality of fascism to the threat of communism. The Pope gained control of the Vatican City as a sovereign state, and received 1.75 billion lire in compensation for historic losses -

mostly in government bonds. And the government bonds obviously meant that, in some curious way, the Catholic Church, the Vatican, was underwriting the fascist state, and people at the time warned this was a very dangerous thing to be doing. The Vatican had committed itself to fascism for the foreseeable future.

It had no confidence in the capacity of democracy to protect Italy against communism. BELL TOLLS Pope Pius XI proclaimed that Mussolini was that man whom divine providence had allowed him to meet. In 1929, leading Jewish war veterans and their representatives were invited to meet 'the Leader' seemingly gifted to Italy by divine providence. Many Jews had welcomed fascism as the rebirth of the Risorgimento -

the 19th-century nationalist movement that had unified Italy and set the Jews free from the ghetto.

Their leader that day was Ettore Ovazza, a wealthy Turin banker. He wrote joyously about the experience in his diary. "He welcomes us with a slight smile. He is serene. "Seated at his desk, he motions to us to advance. "It was the first time I was to see the face of Il Duce up close." Ettore, with his two brothers, had fought in World War I and then joined the new Fascist Party.

Ettore joined the Blackshirt militia and took part in their violence against socialists. (Yells in Italian)

To meet the Duce was the fulfilment of a dream for Ettore. "On hearing of my affirmation "for the unshakable loyalty of Italian Jews to the fatherland, "His Excellency Mussolini looks me straight in the eye and says "with a voice that penetrates straight down to my heart, "I have never doubted it." (Speaks Italian) Grazie. Ettore was overcome with a wave of emotion.

Later, Mussolini would turn a blind eye when the Nazis sent thousands of Italian Jews to their death. Mussolini knew Italy had to be modernised before he could create a fascist empire to rival ancient Rome. The Fascists introduced a policy of self-sufficiency for agriculture and industry. Massive public works programs to drain marshes and build roads created jobs, and were hugely popular.

But for Mussolini, their main aim was to prepare the Italian economy for a war. STRINGS LAMENT The first armed conflict came with a popular rising in Libya - Italy's most important colony. The Italians have become increasingly ruthless. They'd use mass rapes,

desecration of mosques, rounding of civilians into concentration camps, mass starvation,

the use of chemical weapons against civilians and guerrilla combatants. 100,000 civilians were probably killed between 1929 and 1932 in the 'Pacification of Libya', as it was called. So, it's really outside of Italy, in the foreign wars, in the colonial campaigns, that fascism showed its particularly violent and brutal side. STRINGS LAMENT

ALL CHANT: Sieg Heil!

In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Mussolini regarded Hitler as a junior partner who had copied him in his rise to power. But he was jealous of Germany's military power. He realised that Hitler's rise to power was going to destabilise the situation in Europe. And this destabilisation would begin to open a window of opportunity, release action. Ettore Ovazza, the Jewish banker, worried that this was potentially a tragic turning point for Italian Jews, but, to his relief, Mussolini ridiculed Hitler's racial theories. "Nothing will make me believe "that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today." But, in 1934, when two Turin Jews were caught smuggling anti-fascist literature into Italy, some newspapers called it a Jewish anti-fascist plot. Ettore panicked, fearing the return of Jewish persecution. He started his own newspaper, to publicly demonstrate that Jews were patriotic and pro-fascism. "We are soldiers. We are Fascists.

"We want to kiss the tricolour flag "for which we are always ready to fight and die. There was no automatic reason Mussolini and Hitler would be allies, despite their shared views. They first clashed over Austria. Italy wanted it to be independent, rather than part of Germany. Hitler, however, had other ideas. CROWD CHEERS If one reads the very first page of 'Mein Kampf' - Hitler's infamous book - the first thing he says is Austria must, yet again, return to the German mother-country. And it wasn't just rhetoric - he meant it. In 1934, Mussolini had made Galeazzo Ciano, his son-in-law, head of his press office. Just 4 years earlier,

Ciano seemed to have made the best career move ever - aged 27, he married Benito Mussolini's adored daughter, Edda. This relationship would end in a family tragedy of Shakespearean intensity. But in 1934, Ciano hero-worshipped Mussolini, imitating his gestures, his uniforms and his speech. Ciano's first job was to ridicule the Fuhrer. After Mussolini and Hitler clashed over Austria, Ciano briefed journalists that Hitler was a madman, hell-bent on world war. But the Duce's dreams of empire would draw him inexorably into an embrace with the Nazi leader.

In 1935, fascist forces invaded Ethiopia -

Africa's last independent nation. CLARINET LAMENTS Ciano was among the 600,000-strong Italian invasion force. He took part in bombing raids on civilians and proudly boasted, "We have carried out a slaughter." The way that Mussolini dealt with the Ethiopian question, I think shows just how calculated and ruthless the man really was. The Ethiopians fought back desperately. So then the order was issued by Mussolini, in December 1935, to make widespread use of chemical weapons - mustard gas and phosgene - and to use terror tactics en-masse. The Italians even deliberately bombed 19 Red Cross hospitals. Over 250,000 Ethiopians were killed in the fighting. (Speaks Italian) TRANSLATION: For a long time, people have tried to conceal that the Ethiopian war and other forms of fascist colonial repression used such ruthless methods. Today, we know this for certain.

And I think this has given us more evidence to disprove those who now present fascism as a benevolent, patriotic dictatorship that was polluted and led astray only by the alliance with Germany. Ethiopia wasn't just about the Italians conquering Ethiopia, it was about them taking on the international order.

It was about challenging the predominant Mediterranean powers - the British and the French - for eventual control. That battle, that root to global war, started really in Europe with the Ethiopian crisis of 1935. Mussolini's aggressive foreign policy was hugely popular at home, but poisoned relations with Britain and France. Mussolini knew that in contrast to Britain and France, he had Hitler's backing in Ethiopia. And then, both dictators backed General Franco when he rose against a left-wing government in Spain. STRINGS LAMENT Mussolini sent 80,000 Italian troops to fight for Franco in the ensuing Spanish Civil War. As the European crisis mounted, Mussolini promoted his 33-year-old son-in-law, Ciano, to the key post of Foreign Secretary.

But the more time Ciano spent with the Nazis, the more he feared for Italy's future.

Ciano started to keep a secret diary, which survives as one of the most remarkable insider accounts in 20th century history. One of the first entries describes Mussolini's visit to Hitler in Berlin in 1937. "Mussolini captured crowds with his magnetism, "his voice and his impetuous youthfulness. "Will the solidarity of the regimes be sufficient "to keep two nations "whose race, culture, religion and taste are exact opposites, "really together?" WILD CHEERING RHYTHMIC STOMPING DRONES

But Ciano knew that there was no alternative to the Nazis if Italy wanted to challenge the power of Britain and France. "Today, the Rome-Berlin Axis is something very real "and extremely useful." The Fascists and Nazis provided impressive military support to Franco, practising techniques they would perfect in World War II. One was the bombing of civilians to create mass terror. Ciano gloated over its effect in Barcelona. "The entire raid lasted only 1.5 minutes - "buildings pulverised, traffic interrupted, "panic that became insanity. "500 dead, 1,500 wounded." In February 1938, Mussolini decided to partially imitate Hitler and impose harsh anti-Semitic laws. The Germans never asked the Italians to introduce racial anti-Semitism. There is no evidence to suggest

that Mussolini came under pressure from Hitler. Mussolini believed Hitler's ruthless policies had created a military juggernaut that would roll across Europe. Since he was a Machiavellian and a pragmatist, and wanted Italy to assume its place among the great nations, he had a whole ideology that if you were really a serious person, then you brushed aside any kind of humanitarian concerns about who you might be stepping on in order to further the cause of national greatness. Crushing the rights of a few thousand Jews in Italy was a small price to pay for national greatness. Ovazza and the 47,000 Italian Jews were unaware of the fate that would befall them. ...Benito Mussolini. On 11 March, 1938, Ciano wrote a bare phrase - "6:00pm. Austria is no longer independent."

Without a murmur, Mussolini had allowed Hitler to annex Austria to the Third Reich. Overnight, Italy lost her buffer state. Many more disasters would follow. Mussolini wanted to be seen to be ruthless, just like Hitler. Ciano revealed - "The truth about the bombing of Barcelona "is that Mussolini gave the orders.

"Franco knew nothing and, yesterday, asked us to suspend them "for fear of foreign complications." Ciano noted - "Mussolini claimed to be pleased by the fact "that Italians managed to horrify by their aggression, "instead of giving pleasure as mandolin players. "This, in his opinion, "makes us rise in the consideration of the Germans, "who love total and ruthless war." Mussolini also told Ciano - "Italians must learn to be less sympathetic - "to become hard, implacable, hateful masters." Mussolini tried to impress Hitler by declaring that Italians were Aryans like the Germans - the Jews were an inferior race. Formal laws are then passed effectively disenfranchising the Jewish community in its entirety - kicking them out of public office, kicking Jewish schoolchildren out of school, preventing them from attending university, participating in public office. Ettore Ovazza, the proud, patriotic war veteran and devoted Fascist, wrote a personal appeal to the Duce. "I write poorly because my hand is trembling. "It is the end of a reality - "that of our feeling one with the Italian people. "How many starting in 1919 and up until today "have followed you with love through so many battles, wars, "living your life. "Is all this over? Was it all a dream we nurtured?" Mussolini's first edicts divided the Jews. Longstanding fascists like Ovazza and decorated Jewish veterans were allowed to keep their jobs and businesses, and even to remain Fascist Party members. Meanwhile, Hitler continued on the road to war. Now he gave Czechoslovakia an ultimatum - give up the German-speaking provinces of Sudetenland,

or face invasion. Ciano lamented - "Naturally, the objective will be to destroy Czechoslovakia completely. "It is war. "God protect Italy and the Duce." Europe held its breath,

but, at the last moment, Britain begged Mussolini to try to delay the German ultimatum by 24 hours. That evening, Mussolini and Ciano departed for Munich. Hitler told Mussolini he wanted all of the Sudetenland, which had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but had been ceded to the new state of Czechoslovakia after World War I. At the Munich conference, Mussolini presented Hitler's plan as his own. All the leaders signed the Munich agreement

that gave Germany the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler promised this was his last territorial demand in Europe. Czechoslovakia was left defenceless, having lost nearly all her mountain fortifications.

But appeasement had averted the war. Ciano witnessed the resulting adulation. "In Italy, from the Brenner Pass to Rome,

from the King to the peasants,

"the Duce receives welcomes as I have never seen." Mussolini won great respect abroad and great popularity at home because he appeared as the peacemaker. But there's a very funny thing about this - that Mussolini himself wasn't at all pleased. He went home muttering,

All the crowds are cheering me as the man of peace, "but I don't want to be the man of peace, I want to be the man of war." A few days after this crisis, Mussolini introduced even tougher anti-Semitic laws. These laws ended equality for all Jews,

even dedicated fascists. Ettore Ovazza had to sell the family bank and resign from the Fascist Party. In March 1939, Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement. German troops marched into the rump of Czechoslovakia - the first time they had occupied non-German speaking territory. Hitler did not even warn Mussolini. Only afterwards,

the German ambassador, Hess, told Mussolini. "The Fuhrer thanks Italy for unshakable Italian support." Mussolini was in despair. "Every time Hitler grabs a country, he sends me a message." The march of fascism seemed unstoppable

when Franco finally triumphed in the Spanish Civil War. To keep up with Hitler,

Mussolini seized Albania in April, 1939. Later that year, Ciano wrote -

"First report of imminent action against Poland. War." Ciano knew Italy was not ready for war. "The ammunition depots are lacking in ammunition. "Artillery is outmoded. "Our anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons are altogether non-existent. "Our gold reserves are reduced to almost nothing. "We must avoid war."

Despite this, Mussolini ordered his Foreign Minister, Ciano, to go to Berlin to sign one of the most disastrous military agreements in history - the Pact of Steel. This required Italy to go to war whenever Germany did. In this agreement, both Germany and Italy promise not to provoke a major European conflict for at least three years. But just three months later in Salzburg, Ciano learned directly from Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister, of Hitler's real plans. "He said, gazing at me with his cold, metallic eyes - "We want war. "Poland must be invaded, defeated, annihilated - "an annex to the Third Reich "in the same fashion as Austria and Czechoslovakia." Hitler basically followed his own designs, he marched to his own drummer, he even made his own foreign policy, he didn't even take Italy into consideration in terms of discussion before considering his major changes in foreign policy. After meeting Hitler, Ciano knew Europe would be engulfed in war.

"He has decided to strike, and strike he will. "The fate that might befall us "does not interest them in the least." Ciano felt desperate and powerless. "I return to Rome "completely disgusted with Germany and its leaders. "They have betrayed us and lied to us." But even Ciano could not have guessed what was coming next. Hitler stunned Italy with a political masterstroke. He signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviets, which secretly carved up Poland. "5:25am - Germany attacks Poland. "11:00am - Britain declares war on Germany." Ciano struggled hard to keep Mussolini out of the war. "The idea of joining the Germans attracts him, "but I must fight to the end, "otherwise, it will mean the ruin of the country, "the ruin of fascism and the ruin of the Duce himself." Mussolini told Ciano - "The Italians, after having heard my war-like propaganda for 18 years, "cannot understand how I can become the herald of peace "now Europe is in flames." LYTTLETON: Mussolini, I think, always saw

Italy's inability to enter the war in September 1939 as a failure - something which he was embarrassed about, rather ashamed of, but he is still, in international terms, a revolutionary, in that he is a man with a mission, he has to leave his mark on history by making Italy great or greater.

You can't do this without war. As the Germans swept across democratic Europe in 1940, Mussolini could restrain himself no longer. (Speaks Italian) He declared war on France and Britain. Ciano wrote - "The adventure begins - may God help Italy." The most awful, I think, the most contemptible reason Mussolini gave for going to war

was, he said, "We need a few thousand dead "in order to be able to sit at the conference table." And he thinks that's going to be it. Duce! In the first month, the Italian Army made little progress in its invasion of France. Mussolini blamed his soldiers rather than himself. (Speaks Italian) TRANSLATION: It is the material that I lack. Even Michelangelo needed marble to make statues. If he had only clay, he would have been nothing more than a potter. Mussolini planned to run a parallel war with Germany. While Hitler grabbed territories north of the Alps, he would grab countries around the Mediterranean. Mussolini launched an attack on the British in Egypt, hoping to seize the Suez Canal. The British withdrew. Ciano noted - "Mussolini is radiant with joy."

At Ciano's urging, and as a way of showing his independence, Mussolini decided to seize Greece, without informing Hitler.

It was felt that Greece would be a sort of, nice, easy target. It was felt the Greek military weren't up to a fight, the towns were already in Albania, of course, it was simply a job of stepping over the border and Greece would collapse. Mussolini had managed to bribe a number of top Greek generals. He assumed because he had various Greek generals on the Italian payroll, they were going to sell out their own army - this wasn't the case. What actually transpired was the Italians began the offensive with very little planning. It's a very highly improvised operation. The weather was appalling.

This was the autumn, during the time of the autumn rains - very bad weather to move across Balkan mountains into Greece. The result was that the invasion was a big failure. The Greek army dug its heels in and fought back, and pushed the Italians back into Albania. So, it was a disastrously ill-conceived and a disastrously carried-out operation. Mussolini had ignored military advice in ordering the invasion. Yet again, he was furious with his soldiers. "The human material I have to work with is useless - worthless. Hitler now had to rush troops to invade the Balkans and Greece. Mussolini was humiliated. The last thing Mussolini wanted was the Germans anywhere in his sphere of operations whatsoever, so, to have to admit defeat and then see his principal ally having to occupy not only Greece but also Yugoslavia, which is, of course, a border state with Italy, was a pretty serious humiliation, and, I think, marks, really, the first point when you could say the man, or Mussolini's authority, is beginning to erode. EXPLOSIONS The Italians faced another shattering blow in Libya. British and Commonwealth armoured spearheads simply went straight through the Italian lines,

like a knife through butter - something like 400-500,000 prisoners were taken in a very short time by the British as a result. And it, again, shows the Italians simply are not capable of running, really, of running a modern war. And now he has to play second fiddle to his ally in Nazi Germany, and this gets worse and worse as time goes on. Every place Italy fought, virtually, was a defeat for Italy. From now on, Mussolini was completely in Hitler's hands.

At 3:00am on 22 June, 1941, Mussolini was woken to be told of the German attack on the Soviet Union. There had been no consultation, no forewarning.

Mussolini was angry and humiliated.

"Even I don't dare disturb my servants at night, "but the Germans make me jump out of bed at any hour "without the slightest consideration." Germany was now the absolutely dominant partner in the Axis. Italians felt powerless. The great question in Italy was, who is really the enemy?

The popular saying on the streets was, "If England wins, we lose, but if Germany wins, we are lost."

Mussolini shared the very same suspicion. He told Ciano bitterly - "I now seriously ask "whether an English victory would not be more desirable for our future "than a German victory." There were massive food shortages across Italy. But Mussolini had no sympathy with his people in their hunger. "I tell you that, around springtime, "the rations will be even less, "and this delights me "because we will finally see signs of suffering "on the faces of Italian people, "which will be valuable to us around the peace table." To curry favour with Hitler,

Mussolini sent 230,000 ill-equipped troops to join the German invasion of Russia. The secret police reported growing anger over the military disasters. (Speaks Italian) TRANSLATION: Certainly, the experience of fascist Italy on the battlefields, starting with the defeat in Greece in October 1940 and the loss of the East African colonies in 1941 and then the loss of Libya in 1942, means basically the collapse of a big delusion that Italy would become a big power through fascism. In December 1942, Soviet forces defeated Italian troops on the River Don. (Speaks Italian) TRANSLATION: The Italian defeat in Russia, with over 85,000 killed, is, in fact, a sort of tombstone for the ambitions of Mussolini and Fascist Italy. 1943 began disastrously for the Rome-Berlin Axis - the catastrophe of Stalingrad and the retreat everywhere along the North African front - the fall of Tripoli. Ciano still admired Mussolini, but knew he had to go. "I think that before long it will be necessary "to place all powers in the hands of the military." But Mussolini sacked Ciano for opposing the alliance with Germany. "Our leaving was cordial, for which I am very glad "because I like Mussolini, like him very much,

"and what I shall miss most will be my contact with him." Italian defeats escalated through 1943, with mass surrenders to the Allies in North Africa. When Allied forces landed in Sicily, 12,000 more surrendered without firing a shot. Three years of military disasters had destroyed the foundations of Italian fascism. Finally, on July 25, 1943, Mussolini was toppled by a group of leading fascists, who then meekly handed constitutional power back to the King. The Duce, the iron dictator, was a broken man.

You could almost say that he was depressed - I mean, it's perhaps not clinically so, but I think that there's something almost apathetic about Mussolini's conduct. I think that he really, almost, at that point, felt that he had lost the game and that there was something sort of almost inevitable about his fall from power. To Mussolini's horror,

one of the leaders of the rebellion was Ciano - his own son-in-law, who had been at his side as Foreign Minister during six tumultuous years. This set in train a terrible family tragedy - an echo of the national tragedy about to befall Italy. CLAPPING AND CHEERING

At first, there was euphoria. 20 years of fascism seemed to have melted away like snow. The king, Victor Emmanuel III, appointed

Marshal Pietro Badoglio, former head of the armed services, as the new Prime Minister. Badoglio imprisoned Mussolini and also arrested Ciano, who was accused of massive corruption.

But the chance to shorten the war and bring peace to Italy was botched. It turned out to be a fiasco. The Allies and Badoglio could not coordinate what was going to happen. Badoglio and the king pulled up and left Rome -

in a disaster, a disgrace, in flight - to go head south. Before fleeing into the welcoming arms of the Allies, the King announced Italy had changed sides.

And the Italian Army and the Italian nation just unravelled overnight - the night of September 8, which is known also in Italian history as 'the Catastrophe'. Italy was traumatised.

The Germans moved quickly to take control of the country. Some Italians, outraged by the King's surrender, fought on with the Germans. Others were delighted to join the Allies. Many simply laid down their arms. Italy now faced the horror of civil war. But Hitler still admired Mussolini, and personally ordered a daring airborne raid, which successfully rescued him from his mountain prison. Hitler installed Mussolini as head of a new fascist government -

the Italian Social Republic, or Salo Republic, in German-occupied northern Italy. It was a mere puppet government - it was a shadow government that Mussolini technically ran the country, but he was at the...he was under orders of the Germans. As Italy crumbled into chaos and civil war, the Ovazza family fled Turin and headed for a hotel close to the Swiss border. With Ettore were his wife, Nella, son, Riccardo, and daughter, Ellie. It must have been a tremendously complicated and tragic time for him. Fascism had failed visibly - it had collapsed - Mussolini had been deposed, the dreams of greatness had not measured up to reality, and he personally had sacrificed everything for this cause, which had now failed.

They had taken with them gold, jewels and foreign currency. into a very dangerous world. Unknowingly, Ettore was taking them At the time,

characters and profiteers there were all kinds of unscrupulous of the desperation of many people who are making money off into the border into Switzerland. who are trying to sneak over Riccardo was of military age, he might be seized, and Ettore feared to take Riccardo to Switzerland. so he found a mountain guide 50,000 Swiss francs. Ettore gave his son (Speaks Italian) A few days later,

a meal together, the Ovazzas were enjoying

sat down close to them. until Gestapo officers Tension filled the room. his son had been arrested The Gestapo man told Ettore across the border. for smuggling foreign currency Ettore was made to pay their bill. commandeered by the German SS. The three were taken to a school the loyal fascist Jew, Then, Ettore Ovazza, to the school's basement. was led forcibly now relaxed, even smiling, Mother and daughter followed, would come to their family. as if assured no harm all three were brutally executed. But, once inside,

then chopped up into pieces, Incredibly, their bodies are a fire is lit, and they begin to burn these bodies, um, right there in the schoolhouse. and extraordinary ironies Ah, it's one of the strange of the German occupation of Italy that among the first victims loyal adherents to fascism. should be one of the most but there would be many others. Ettore was one of the first, The Germans occupied Rome. to extermination camps. They immediately sent 5,700 Jews into forced labour in Germany. Another 615,000 Italians were sent

who the Nazis had installed Mussolini, puppet government in northern Italy, as the head of the Salo Republic said nothing. more brutal than ever. This new fascism was (Speaks Italian) Fascist Party, TRANSLATION: It is an enraged

against Mussolini on July 25, enraged by the coup of September 8, enraged by the surrender has been too tolerant enraged that the regime

or with non-fascist Italians, with half-hearted fascists more strictness and more violence. and therefore it demands was Ciano. One of first to feel its wrath of the father-in-law In prison, he awaited the revenge he had helped to depose. He wrote the last entry in his secret diary - the rest had already been smuggled to Switzerland by his wife. "The policy of Berlin towards Italy "was nothing but a web of lies, intrigue and deceit. "We were never treated like partners, "but always as slaves. "Only Mussolini, in his supreme cowardice, "could, without reaction, tolerate this "and pretend not to see it." BIRDS CAW IN THE DISTANCE Mussolini then proved Ciano right. He could have saved his son-in-law, as his daughter begged him to, but that would have betrayed weakness in front of his German masters. BIRDS CAW IN THE DISTANCE BURST OF GUNFIRE SINGLE GUNSHOT BIRDS CAW AND TWEET This remarkable film of Ciano's execution was made to prove Mussolini's iron resolve and his dedication to Hitler's service. By 1944, it was clear the Axis had lost the war. Yet an astonishing 250,000 Italians still joined Mussolini's new Republican Fascist Party, proving fascism's enduring appeal. 40,000 even joined a new armed force, called the Black Brigades, to fight anti-fascist partisans during 1944 and '45. So that there then ensued a kind of Italian civil war between fascists and anti-fascists during that last 18 months of World War II. The partisans, often led by Communists, destroyed communications and attacked German troops. LOUD EXPLOSIONS In reprisal, the German SS supported by the Black Brigades carried out a brutal campaign of suppression, which led to the indiscriminate slaughter of thousands of civilians, often women and children. GUNFIRE MOURNFUL CLARINET FLOATS OVER CONSTANT BASS DRUM

This was the nastiest part of the entire regime, particularly inside Italy, because there were a lot of political executions, the liquidations of lots of hostages, mass killings - tens of thousands of people died - this was by far the worst aspect of the regime inside Italy during the entire fascist period. But it was, above all, a fight for Italy's future. Of course, partisans saw themselves primarily as seeking to liberate Italy from German occupation, German control. But they also saw it as a war against restored fascism. The war's a very real element of using the armed resistance to prepare a post-fascist, a post-war future that, perhaps, would be communist and revolutionary. On 27 April, 1945,

Benito Mussolini, his mistress, Clara Petacci, and several Fascist leaders were seized by partisans. Ironically, the man who had come to power as the man to stop communism was gunned down by a communist. He was just cut down by a burst of submachine-gun fire from this communist partisan leader - very dramatic, very brutal, if you like. And, then, of course, his corpse and that of Clara Petacci were hung up feet first in the piazzale - in one of the piazzas of Milan. That may appear very horrible and unjustified, but it has to be said that it was also a sort of symbolic reprisal, because the Fascists had previously hung a lot of partisans in that same square. For a lot of people, as it were, that sounds like the end of fascism to me. Was it? Well, probably not. I mean, fascism went deeper than just Mussolini and his girlfriend and a few others hanging at the gas station. Once the Allies held Italy,

the West once again saw communism as a far greater threat than Italian Fascism.

Senior judges, civil servants, military leaders, and even police chiefs who had served under fascism were allowed to slip quietly back into office. And fascism as a political force did not die with Mussolini. There's still, right across Italy, a widespread sense of sympathy for this man... unwillingness to accept that maybe there's a bit more to him than just public works programs, road building and draining marshes - there was a bit more to it than that. WIND HOWLS The war and violence, the revolutionary ideology, this attempt to revolutionise Italy and make it a more marshal and more aggressive society,

and cause, let's not forget, the death of 55 million people. Let's never forget Mussolini's responsibility in World War II. HAUNTING STRINGS Closed Captions by CSI

This program is not subtitled

Tonight - not fire proof

after all. The corporate watchdog goes after James

Hardie executives just days

after the company settled a

compensation deal for asbestos

victims. ASIC has lodged civil

penalty proceedings in the

Supreme Court of NSW relating

to disclosures by James Hardie

companies and by its directors

and executives. We believe

those that may have breached

their corporate law obligations

should be brought to court and

these proceedings will do that. CC

Good evening, welcome to

Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. Also

tonight - now that the

Government has admitted that

dealing with global warming will have economic

consequences, we begin a

special series - the truth

about coal. Looking at what

happens to the coal we export,

the real prospects for clean

coal technology, and the cost

of putting it in place. We are

pushing the envelope looking at these new technologies, but we

are not going to crash the

Australian economy just for

some sort of moral crusade, which I

which I think it seems is about

Peter Garrett is about. We

asked the Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull if he agrees

with the experts who say the

cost of fitting clean coal

technology to Australian power station social security

expected to increase consumers'

power bills by 30%. That's

coming up. First, our other

headlines. The ghost of

Guantanamo, rising backbench

anger over the treatment of

David Hicks. Blaming Tehran -

President Bush makes new

accusations that Iran is

orchestrating violence in Iraq.

And on Lateline Business,

buying the turnaround story -

Telstra shares surge despite a

21% drop in profit. Well,

senior executives and director

from James Hardie may receive

fines of hundreds of thousands

of dollars each after civil

action was launched today by

the corporate koochg ASIC.

They also faced and prospect of being banned from managing companies in the future if

found guilty. The executives

include the company chair

Meredith Hellicar who was

accused with nine others of

providing misleading

information over the collapse

of the original asbestos compensation fund six years

ago. ASIC said tonight that it

was also in dialogue with the Commonwealth Director of Public

Prosecutions about possible

criminal charges. Michael

Edwards has the story.

Asbestos victims waited years for compensation and finally

last week they got it. We hope

to provide enough money for

payments. But while it was

relief for the victims, Australia's corporate watchdog

ASIC has given no such comfort

to James Hardie. Today it announced civil proceedings

against the company and ten of

its former and present

directors. The cope of our

investigation has spanned

possible breaches of the corporations entities, James

Hardie and also former and

current director and

executives. It is ASIC's

objective in taking these

proceedings to reinforce the

standards of corporate

behaviour that are violent

important in ensuring public

confidence in Australia's

corporate sector and capital markets. The charges relate to

a failed attempt to establish a

$1.9 billion compensation fund.

James Hardie is alleged to have

breached the Corporations Act

on several occasions between

February 2001 and June 2003.

The breaches include making

misleading statements about the

failed fund, and its

restructure and relocation to

the Netherlands - a move widely

criticised as an attempt to avoid paying compensation. We're keen to see

that justice is done, needless

to say. We've always wanted

that to be pursued. We believe

those that may have breached

their corporate law obligations

should be brought to court and

these proceedings will do

that. Those charged face fines

of up to $200,000 for each

breach as well as being barred

from running public companies.

They include chairwoman

Meredith Hellicar, directors

Michael Brown and Michael

Gillfillan as well as former

geo-Peter MacDonald and Peter

shav Ron. Peter Wilcox was

also charged. Today he stood

aside from his position as head

of the CSIRO. Asbestos victims

say it's about justice, not revenge. We've always maintained that whatever the

law is, we need it to be

absolutely fulfilled. So we're

pleased that ASIC have taken

this course of action, but

we're also extremely pleased