Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini hid a set of secret diaries in an Italian hillside and ordered them not to be opened until 2025, the son of the man who buried them has revealed.
Mussolini, who ruled Italy from 1922 until he was executed by partisans in 1945, has long been rumoured to have kept diaries which could detail the extent of his relationship with wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
There is even a theory among some Italian historians that he was executed as part of an MI6 plot to spare Britain embarrassment from revealing the truth about his closeness to Churchill.
Today, Rocco Della Morte, son of Guglielmo Della Morte, a wartime Italian consul in Berlin – said that in April 1945 his father met in Milan with Mussolini who gave him a locked suitcase.
Mr Della Morte, who comes from Fiumicello, close to England boss Fabio Capello’s hometown of Pieris in north east Italy, said the suitcase was filled with diaries and other documents.
He said: ‘My father told me that he was called to Milan in April 1945 by Mussolini and given a suitcase. He was then told by Il Duce (Mussolini) that it should not be opened until 2025.
‘The case had the initials BM on it and was closed with a padlock. My father assumed that it was diaries and documents and not money because he was told by Mussolini not to open it for 80 years.’
Mr Della Morte said that the suitcase was buried in a valley close to the village of Campodolcino, a short distance from Italy’s border with Switzerland, 100 miles from Milan.