Mussolini meets with Hitler in Germany

In 1936, Germany and Italy signed a military alliance. The two powers formed the so-called Berlin-Rome Axis. This footage shows Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini's state visit to Germany in September 1937. He met with Hitler in Munich and the two leaders also toured other parts of Germany. During the state visit, Mussolini attended a military parade in Berlin, Germany's capital. Although both dictators declared their desire for peace, Germany would begin World War II in 1939. Italy would then enter the war as Germany's ally against Britain and France.


Germany declares a Roman holiday for Mussolini. The destiny of Europe rides with the dictator of Italy, nearing Munich in triumph for his momentous conference with fellow dictator Hitler. The stage is set for the meeting which means so much to the peace of an entire continent. This is history in the making, the handshake of dictatorships. Striding side by side, the two ex-corporals of the World War seem to be in step today, and the whole world is asking, do they march together for conflict or for peace? Unusual is this mighty demonstration of Teutonic adulation for a modern Caesar. Since the days of other Caesars, the sons of the Rhine and of the Tiber have been natural foes. But for the moment, Rome and Berlin decide to let bygones be bygones. Returning Mussolini's hospitality of three years ago, Hitler parades his might for his brother dictator, perhaps to impress Italy, as well as the world, with his potential strength. For history shows that often the friends of today are the foes of tomorrow. Amid all this martial display, the dictators declare themselves for peace, and an apprehensive world hopes for the best.


  • UCLA Film and Television Archive

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