Friday, 21 December 2012

“You can take possession of the whole world, but NOT of my wife!"

I am indebted to George Teodorescu for this incident from the tortured history of German-Italian relations during the Second World War.

“Il Duce protests against the conduct of German soldiers in Italy, especially the non-commissioned officers, who are presumptuous, quarrelsome, and drunken. Last night in Foggia two of them forced their way into the house of a man who was about to go to bed and said to him, “We have taken possession of France, Belgium, Poland and Holland. Tonight we are going to take possession of your wife.” To which the man replied “You can take possession of the whole world, but NOT of my wife! I haven’t any. I’m a bachelor.” In their disappointment, the broke all the furniture before they withdrew.”

Diary of Count Galeazzo Ciano (Italian foreign minister), entry of January 12, 1942


  1. This reads almost as a joke. In which case it's rather funny. But not a joke, are soldiers, not just German ones really so vile?

  2. I believe rape was a hanging offense in the Wehrmacht. Compare and contrast that to our allies in the Red Army.