Even though they ruled the world, decided the fate of millions of people and helped to establish a cult of personality that went beyond imagination, in their private lives, many of the dictators of the twentieth century turned from wolves into lambs, giving in to the fancies of their wives and stoically going through their bouts of jealousy.
French author Diane Ducret recalls in an essay entitled “Femmes de dictateur”, taken by the newspaper Le Figaro, such boudoir scenes that shook, often in the greatest secrecy, the lives of tyrants of the past century.
Eva Braun, Hitler and the dog Blondie
Mistress of the most famous dictator in history, Eva Braun, could do anything she pleased, even what was forbidden in Nazi Germany.
In her essay, French writer Diane Ducret recounts how one day, Eva was in her room listening to an American disc. Hitler entered and said: “That music is nice.” Eve responded with great certainty in her voice: “Yes, it is. Especially now that your good friend Goebbels has just banned this disc throughout the entire Reich.”
Hitler’s dog was the one that had most suffered from Eva. After she moved in with Hitler, and took her little Scottish terriers, Blondie, the Nazi leader’s pet, was jailed in his room for an indefinite amount of time.
“Your dog Blondie is as big as a bull,” was the explanation offered by Eva for her decision to shut the dog. In response, Hitler refused to be photographed with Eva and her two puppies and prohibited his girlfriend from doing such photographs.
In the weeks that followed, however, Hitler had to do with Eva’s iron will. But he managed to reconcile with her with a very expensive jewelry. Only after a few days, did Hitler dare to ask his mistress in a timid voice: “Honey, will you let poor little Blondie to come out and walk with us for half an hour?”.
Mussolini, at the feet of a mistress converted to Islam
Benito Mussolini and Leda Rafanelli met after she wrote a flattering article about the Italian dictator. Leda had converted to Islam, so at the meeting she wore a turban, silver bracelets and earrings in solid gold.
“I spent three delicious hours. We like the solitude. While you’re looking for it in Africa, I search for it in the crowd, in a tumultuous life. But our goal is the same. When I will take a break, I will come back to see you. We will read Nietzsche and the Koran,” Mussolini wrote in a note addressed to his muse, cited by Diane Ducret in her essay. The two meet again several times. In order to convince her to give in to him, the Italian politician wore a full bedouin costume with beard, turban and an amber necklace and even lied to her concerning his civil status, saying he was not married.
He Zizhen, “Tigres” Mao
“Son of a pig, turtle egg, reprobate who thinks only bitch. I will teach you not to come here and sleep with that bourgeois slut.” These words were shouted by angry He Zizhen, in 1937, to a stupefied Mao.
It wasn’t the first jealousy scene of the woman for whom Mao left his wife, Yang Kaihui. Everything started due to a few moments that Mao spent in the company of actress Lily Wu, a meeting organized by journalist Agnes Smadley. Of Ziyhen’s fury not even the two women escaped as they walked away with scratches on their faces.
The luxury vanity of Elena Ceausescu
The French author writes that in 1975, after the Romanian couple set foot on King Hussein of Jordan’s yacht, Elena Ceausescu decided she wanted such a craft, but not just any yacht: she wanted the one the Jordan royal family owned. After the king tells her the Yacht in question was a gift for his daughter Alya, princess of Jordan, Elena eventually found a solution, promising to order an identical boat from the United States.
The writer also talks about the gifts the two dictators received during their visits, as Elena Ceausescu’s demands were difficult to satisfy. The Romanian dictator’s wife only wore French clothes and drove German car.
“Remember how the Germans reacted,” Elena used to tell her husband before the General Pacepa, Ceausescu’s personal adviser and Head of Security at the time – “saying the word “car” as a little hint, and everybody started giving us cars. How many have we already received? The Mercedes 600 limousine for Nicolae, a Mercedes 450 coupe for Zoe and two Audi cars for Nicu”, Diane Ducret writes in her essay.
Bokassa doesn’t drink alcohol, at the order of the future “empress”
Central African dictator Jean-Bédel Bokassa proved to be more than gracious when he allowed his beloved Catherine à Hardricourt to control his activities, his food and work program. And because “the future empress”, as Catherine was called, believed that due to his status he should always be clear-headed, she forbade Bokkasa to drink alcohol.
The former dictator pretended to accept his wife’s decision, but the night before a formal ceremony, he got awfully drunk, and was found sleeping on the floor, near a bottle of Chivas.
Without hesitation, Catherine took the bottle of Chivas – her husband’s favourite drink that he even took with him on diplomatic meetings – and emptied it into the sink. “A future king shouldn’t get drunk,” she said.