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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

An evening with the Italian cabinet,   pp. 106-107 PDF (506.3 KB)

Page 106

An Evening with the Italian Cabinet
The Minister of the Royal household, Lucifero, asked us to at-
tend a small informal dinner party at his home that evening. A
guest was Prime Minister Parri, a gentleman of a mild-spoken,
professional type. During the Fascist regime he was regarded
as a Liberal or Leftist. He indicated a definite antipathy to
Present also were War Minister Brosoi of the Liberal Party;
Count Jacini, a member of the Catholic Party; and Minister
Zanniboni, who at one time attempted to assassinate Mussolini.
Apprehended, he served some 17 years in prison. Zanniboni
seemed to be the hero of the hour-everyone toasted him and com-
plimented him upon his liberation.
The members of the Cabinet present all indicated that they were
definitely anti-Fascist and anti-Communist. We asked Parri what
Italy needed most. He replied: "1. Bread. 2. Meat. 3. Coal. We
need," he said, "a billion dollars to get our factories going.
The elections should be postponed until such time as our economy
is re-established, otherwise I am frightened as to the outcome of
the elections."
I asked one of the ministers: "Why are you so disturbed about
Communism, Italy being a Catholic country and the Church being
so opposed to Communism?"
His reply was: "We are 45,000,000 people in Italy and all
Catholics. The United States is a Protestant country. The Catho-
lics in America realize that from time to time they may be called
upon to fight and defend their religion. Not so in Italy. Our
Catholicism comes to us at birth. We do not take threats to it
seriously. Our people, many of whom are uneducated, do not know
Communism is anti-Catholic, hence the reason we want the con-
tinuing of your Army of Occupation-until our people can be
thoroughly educated as to the iniquities of Soviet dictatorship."
We asked the Ministers what they felt about Italy paying repara-
tions. They said unanimously that Italy was economically ruined

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