Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quando Edda Mussolini non 'schettinò'

Dai diari inediti di Claretta Petacci: nel 1941 la moglie crocerossina di Ciano lasciò per ultima la sua nave-ospedale, affondata dagli inglesi in Albania

Oggi, 4 aprile 2012

di Mauro Suttora

«Sta abbastanza bene, ha superato con molta forza e calma la prova. È stata veramente brava. Mi hanno detto che prima ha fatto scendere tutte le infermiere. Poi un marinaio le ha detto: “Scendete contessa, non fate a tempo”. E allora anche lei in acqua. C’è stata mezz’ora, con quel freddo, finché le hanno ripescate. Allora l’hanno rivestita con pantaloncini da marinaio e maglioni».

È la sera del 15 marzo 1941. Benito Mussolini telefona dall’Albania alla sua amante Claretta Petacci. E lei trascrive fedele ogni parola nel proprio diario, la cui annata 1941 è stata appena desecretata dall’Archivio Centrale dello Stato.

In quei giorni il dittatore si trova al fronte, per incoraggiare i soldati italiani che stanno perdendo la guerra contro i greci dopo averli attaccati. Ogni sera telefona a Roma alla Petacci. La notte prima, però, gli inglesi hanno silurato e affondato nel porto di Valona la nave-ospedale italiana Po, che faceva la spola fra Albania e Puglia per trasportare i feriti.

Su quella nave era imbarcata Edda Mussolini, la figlia del duce che si era arruolata come crocerossina. Così il padre lascia le prime linee in montagna e si precipita a trovarla fra i sopravvissuti. «Edda è tanto coraggiosa», telefona orgoglioso a Claretta, «quando l’ho veduta le ho detto: “Finalmente sei una donna interessante”. E lei mi ha detto che i naufragi sono tali e quali che nei film. Che non si dimenticherà facilmente quest’avventura».

L’attacco di cinque aereosiluranti è avvenuto prima di mezzanotte. Per fortuna la Po, ancorata a un miglio e mezzo da terra, non ha a bordo feriti perché è appena tornata dall’Italia. Ma ci sono comunque 240 persone, fra equipaggio e personale medico: 23 annegano. Edda viene ripescata aggrappata a un relitto.

«Certo ha avuto una bella scossa», racconta Mussolini. «L’hanno portata al comando, sono stato con lei un’ora e mezza. Mi ha fatto emozione vederla così infreddolita, minuta, povera cara. Tutto è durato sette minuti, è affondato subito. Tre crocerossine sono morte».

Claretta gelosa delle infermiere

Qui la gelosissima Claretta blocca Benito e gli chiede se ha visitato qualche altra infermiera, fra le superstiti. «Non ho veduto le altre, Edda era sola. Anzi, mi ha detto: “Vai a visitare quelle disgraziate”. Ma una era da una parte, una dall’altra, quindi non potevo. Tanto più che c’è stato un allarme».

Pare infatti che il vero obiettivo degli inglesi fosse Mussolini, il cui cognome avevano scoperto nella lista degli imbarcati. In guerra le navi-ospedale non possono essere colpite. Ma devono farsi riconoscere, mentre la Po aveva le luci spente, per non far individuare al nemico il resto delle navi nel porto di Valona. Nel 2009 il relitto della Po è stato esplorato dai sommozzatori dell'Asso (Archeologia Subacquea Speleologia Organizzazione).
Mauro Suttora

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