Dino Grandi

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Dino Grandi
Grandi.jpg
Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 September 1929 – 20 July 1932
Prime Minister Benito Mussolini
Preceded by Benito Mussolini interim
Succeeded by Benito Mussolini interim
President of Chamber of Fasci and Corporations
In office
30 November 1939 – 2 August 1943
Preceded by Giacomo Acerbo
Succeeded by Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
Personal details
Born 4 June 1895
Mordano, Italy
Died 21 May 1988(1988-05-21) (aged 92)
Bologna, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party National Fascist Party
Alma mater University of Bologna
Profession Lawyer
Politician

Dino Grandi (4 June 1895 – 21 May 1988), 1st Conte di Mordano, was an Italian Fascist politician, minister of justice, minister of foreign affairs and president of parliament.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born at Mordano, province of Bologna, Grandi was a graduate in law and economics at the University of Bologna in 1919 (after serving in World War I). Grandi started a career as a lawyer in Imola. Attracted to the political left, he nonetheless became impressed with Benito Mussolini after the two met in 1914, and became a staunch advocate of Italy's entry into the World War.

He joined the Blackshirts at age 25, and was one of 35 Fascist delegates elected, along with Mussolini, in May 1921 to the Chamber of Deputies. Grandi survived an ambush carried out by leftist militants in 1920, and had his studio devastated on one occasion.

A Fascist statesman[edit]

Dino Grandi (left) with the English Foreign Secretary John Simon in 1932

After the March on Rome on 28 October 1922, in which the Fascists took power in Italy, Grandi became part of the new government; first as the undersecretary of the interior (1923), then as the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs (1929), and then as Italy's ambassador to the United Kingdom (1932 to 1939). Dino Grandi was an ally to the most radical and violent groups of fascists, always surrounding himself with members of the Blackshirts. He used his power base to voice criticism of Mussolini's attempt to reach an armistice with left-wingers, and was at one point under suspicion for having attempted to replace the latter with the skeptical alleged Mussolini forerunner Gabriele D'Annunzio.

In 1939 he was recalled to Italy after trying to attempt a pact between his country and Britain, to prevent Italy entering World War II. Under pressure from Hitler, Mussolini removed him from the post of ambassador and appointed him Minister of Justice.

As a diplomat, Grandi created a net of connections that were only rivaled by Mussolini's son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano, and attempted to use it for his own gains. Thus, he persuaded King Victor Emmanuel III to grant him a title in 1937,[1] and managed to retain a comfortable position until he was sent by Mussolini to the Greek Front with the other Gerarchi in 1941.

Coup and later life[edit]

Main article: 25 Luglio

Grandi opposed Italy's entry into World War II. He was dropped from the Cabinet in February 1943 due to his increasing criticism of the war effort.

As the war began to have its devastating effect on Italy after the Allied invasion of Sicily, Grandi and other members of the Fascist Grand Council met on 24 July 1943. When Mussolini said that the Germans were thinking of evacuating the south, Grandi launched a blistering attack on his former comrade-in-arms. He then made a motion (Ordine del giorno Grandi) asking King Victor Emmanuel III to resume his full constitutional authority. The resolution, voted at 2:00 o'clock on 25 July, passed by a vote of 19 to 7, with one abstention — effectively removing Mussolini from office. Those leading government figures who had voted for the resolution included Giuseppe Bottai and Emilio De Bono as well as Grandi. The King arrested Mussolini the same day.

Grandi also negotiated a truce with the left-wing movements, notably with the trade unions (grouped in the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro), which gave way to the Italian resistance movement against Nazi Germany.

While the Allies occupied the south, an alternate Fascist government was established in Northern Italy as the Italian Social Republic. It sentenced Grandi to death in absentia for treason in the Verona trial that took place on 8–10 January 1944. Grandi, however, had the foresight to flee to Francisco Franco's Spain in August 1943. He lived there, then in Portugal (1943–1948), then Argentina,[2] and then São Paulo, Brazil, until returning to Italy in the 1960s; he died in Bologna. Coincidentally, Grandi died on the same weekend as two post-war Italian Fascist leaders. Like Grandi, Pino Romualdi died on 21 May 1988, while Giorgio Almirante died the following day.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Current Biography: Who's News and Why, 1943. H. W. Wilson. 1944. p. 247. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  2. ^ "Former Mussolini Aide Lands in Argentina," The Modesto Bee, 16 March 1949, p.6
  3. ^ "Obituaries Dino Grandi, 92; rival of Mussolini's," Syracuse Post-Standard, May 24, 1988, p.48
Political offices
Preceded by
Benito Mussolini
Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
1929–1932
Succeeded by
Benito Mussolini
Preceded by
Giacomo Acerbo
President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies
1939-1943
Succeeded by
Vittorio Emanuele Orlando