Ciano, Count Galeazzo, 1903-1944

A career diplomat, Ciano’s marriage to Edda Mussolini, daughter of the dictator, procured his rapid promotion to Foreign Minister in 1936. In that capacity he signed the ‘Pact of Steel’ with Germany in May 1939. He was rightly fearful, however, of the consequences for Italy of going to war, gradually fell out with his father-in-law and resigned from the Foreign Ministry in February 1943. He remained a member of the Fascist Grand Council and in that capacity voted for MUSSOLINI’s removal on July 25. In August he was tricked by the Germans into putting himself in their hands, was imprisoned and executed, with Mussolini’s acquiescence.

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