23rd April 1942, at dinner
My opinion of the Duce—The man who best understood the Bolshevik menace.
It will give me very great pleasure to see the Duce again and to discuss with him all the military and political problems of the day. I hold the Duce in the highest esteem, because I regard him as an incomparable statesman. On the ruins of a ravished Italy he has succeeded in building a new State which is a rallying point for the whole of his people. The struggles of the Fascists bear a close resemblance to our own struggles.
Did they not have, for example, six thousand six hundred dead at Verona? The Duce is one of the people who appreciated the full measure of the Bolshevik menace, and for this reason he has sent to our Eastern front divisions of real military merit. He told me himself that he had no illusions as to the fate of Europe if the motorised hordes of the Russian armies were allowed to sweep unchecked over the Continent, and he is quite convinced that, but for my intervention, the hour of decline was approaching for western Europe.