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)
and could not pay any reparations. They said Italy should have returned to it one new battleship, and the three new ships taken from them by the Allies. They also wanted a billion dollar credit for the purchase of food; with such a credit, they said, they could build a Government that would satisfy America as to its stability. The Ministers definitely claim they should not be deprived of Trieste-that no government of any party in Italy would subscribe to their losing Trieste. Tripolitania, they said, is a desert and worthless to them; that they should be allowed to keep Eritrea as part of their homeland. They were also unanimous in their statement that they would be agreeable to an initial trusteeship of their colonies which would not include Russia. Speaking of reparations, they said the territory they would lose -Ethiopia, Albania, Dodecanese-was in itself sufficient repara- tions, as Italy had spent untold sums in developing these terri- tories and would lose them. They further stated consideration should be given the devastation of their country by bombing. We were rather amused by the Ministers' request for rehabilita- tion funds, etc. They talked with us as if they were our allies and not former enemies, and urged to be treated as allies. These gentlemen agreed that their hopes for a future Italy lay entirely in the hands of the Americans-not British. They wanted nothing to do with Russia. They said America went to war to help civilization, and that Italy was one of the great countries they had helped to build through immigrant Italians who had become Americans. They stated if America allows Greece, Italy and Spain to function on their own, European civilization will be in a com- plete mess. Upon our leaving, the Ministers affirmed that they unanimously agreed that America must keep Russia out of Italy. We returned to our hotel after a very thoughtful and enjoyable evening. 107
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