Despite the fasces, I am holding high in front of me, my view of the processional aisle is clear. When my eyes shift to the left, I can see the Mercedes touring car with the Fuhrer pulling up inside of the stadium. When they shift to the right, I can clearly view Il Duce standing on a platform in the middle of the field. The Leader is surrounded by over 50,000 chanting Fascist Youth. We’ve been working hard to prepare for the Fuhrer’s arrival in our homeland.
I’m so lucky to be here! What a momentous day!
Along with the rest of the crowd, I belt out Giovinezza (Youth), our Fascist anthem, as the Fuhrer steps out of his car. Italy’s most imperious young Fascists form an honor guard to greet the Fuhrer. The honor guard marches in Goose Step with the Fuhrer toward The Duce as Giovinezza ends, and over 2,500 trumpeters raise their horns in unison. Only a moment of silence punctuates the pause between the marching steps of the Fuhrer before the horns begin to blare a piece from Lohengrin, the Fuhrer’s favorite opera.
We were told that the trumpeters would play Lohengrin, but I am not a horn player, so I did not realize what song was chosen.
Baaa, Bum, Ba, Bum.
This is the “Wedding March!”
The first four notes are all that is required for me to remember going to the opera two years ago with my family and for a small smile to cross my lips.
The Fuhrer marches up to The Leader in time to the even beats of Wagner’s wedding song. The Duce stands like a bridegroom awaiting his bride before the altar.
The marriage of Italy and Germany, Europe’s Fascist core, will mean great things for the World!
Corrado, who is standing next to me and holding up a fasces, elbows me in the ribs. He whispers, “I wonder if they’re going to exchange rings.”
I can’t help but laugh. My fasces slips from my hands and falls onto the head of the boy in front of me before falling apart.
That can’t be a good omen.
In May of 1938, Hitler conducted a whirlwind visit to Italy. Mussolini kept Hitler very busy in his attempt to show how powerful Italy was. He demonstrated the Navy’s capabilities and tried to impress Hitler with his organizational and national leadership skill. One event was held at a sports stadium where Hitler was greeted by over 50,000 Fascist Youth who played Hitler the “Wedding March” from Lohengrin. The marriage between The Duce and the Fuhrer turned out very poorly. Italy entered World War II on the side of Germany in 1940 when it appeared that the Germans would win. When the tide started turning in 1943, Italy switched sides and suffered a German invasion. Mussolini was arrested by the new Italian government, but freed through a special operations mission conducted by German forces under Hitler’s orders. Mussolini was later captured and killed by Italians. May this be a lesson to all future bridegrooms. Marriages based on strategic factors alone don’t always end well, especially when a poor strategic planner is in charge.