26 JULY 1940, Page 24

Shorter Notices

What Mussolini Did To Us. By Dr. Paolo Treves. (Gollancz 525. 6d.) DR. TREVES'S book is not, as publishers suggest, an important contribution to history. It is under-documented and in- vertebrate ; and it lacks the index that even a minor historical work should have. This is not to deny its interest as a picture of sensitive intellectuals under Fascism. When Mussolini led the march on Rome, from the rear, in a sleeping car, Claudio Treves, the author's father, was editor of La Giustizia; Matteotti was the idol of young Paolo and of all liberal Italy. Matteotti disappeared, and we get a vivid impression of the anxiety, deepen- ing to horror, when months passed and at last the missing states- man's body was found in the mud of Quarterella. This was the beginning of the Terror. Complacent Britons, reassured by the Duce's iron-jawed grin and the all-important fact that the trains now ran to time, heard about the castor oil and paternal warnings. Dr. Treves tells of what they did not hear—the systematic beatings-up recommended by that pattern of chivalry, Italo Balbo, and practised on the author personally by another member of the Fascist Council, Corrunendatore Andrea Ippolito, to an obbligato of uproarious laughter. He was followed every- where by police ; he was thrown in a filthy cell ; his adored father died, miserably, in France ; his cousins, the Rossellis, were murdered years afterwards near Paris, so long is the Fascist arm, so malignant the Fascist memory. But his spirit remained un- broken. Though liberty in Italy is crushed, there is proof, in men like Dr. Treves, of the will to rise again. Their chance may come soon.