Count Galeazzo Ciano


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(b. 18 Mar. 1903, d. 11 Jan. 1944).

Italian Fascist leader Born in Livorno, he obtained a degree in law from Rome in 1925, and entered the diplomatic service. Not surprisingly, his career was significantly boosted by his marriage to Edda, Mussolini's eldest daughter. In 1933 he became the head of Mussolini's press office, and in 1935 he was promoted to Minister of Press and Propaganda. He left in the same year to join the Abyssinian War, and in 1936 was appointed Foreign Minister. Despite his lack of experience and the absence of a power base within the Fascist movement, he managed to put his own stamp on Mussolini's foreign policy, advocating the intervention in the Spanish Civil War and the conquest of Albania. He also managed to persuade Mussolini to remain neutral at the outbreak of World War II, though when Italy did join in 1940 his influence declined rapidly, following the disastrous Italian invasion of Greece (1940–1). He was demoted to ambassador to the Pope in February 1943, and supported the decision of the Fascist Grand Council to depose Mussolini on 25 July 1943. However, he was captured by the Germans and executed in the Republic of Salò. His diaries 1935–43 provide an important insight into the internal workings of Fascist Italy.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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