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Jennifer Rosenberg

The Gun That Killed Mussolini

By August 4, 2004

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After being captured by Italian partisans while trying to flee from Italy to Switzerland, Benito Mussolini was executed on April 28, 1945. His mistress, Claretta Petacci, was also shot and killed. What happened to the gun that shot Mussolini? It stayed in the hands of Valter Audisio, one of the eight partisans charged with shooting Mussolini, until he offered it as a gift to Albania's communist leader Enver Hoxha's government in 1957. However, Audisio wanted the gun's whereabouts be kept a secret, which it was until Audisio died in 1973. The 1938 French 7.65 caliber sub-machine gun is now back on display.


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