Italian Political Emigration During Fascism

Italian Political Emigration During Fascism

For the occupation regime established by the Allies in Italy following the armistice, see amg, in this second App., I, p. 159. A map is given here in which the subsequent transfers (listed in this item) of the Italian territory from the jurisdiction of the AMG to the Italian administration are represented.

Emigration or exile for political reasons (“exiles”, “outsiders” are words put into use by the fascist political press, modernizing the term used for the municipal factions, in order to avoid the too obvious parallel with the Risorgimento, which would have resulted from the use of the term “exile” or “emigration”) has a not negligible importance in the history of the twenty years of fascist government 1922-45.

Not only were many Italians forced during this period to take refuge abroad in order to continue to profess their ideas, but a considerable part of Italian political life took place as a legacy, criticism or anticipation, abroad, among the exiles.

According to localtimezone, the first movements of political emigration took place even before the march on Rome, when, following the offensive of the fascist “squads” against the Chambers of Labor, against the local leagues and against the various “red citadels”, the “ban” from a given country or region it was often used as a weapon to consolidate victory in the factional struggle. At that time many elements, especially of the working classes or laborers, of Emilia, Romagna, Tuscany, where the civil war and class conflict was stronger, had to leave their country. Given the economic conditions of Italy and the difficult situation in which a subversive found himself at the hands of the police, emigration did not stop within the national territory, but many were those who went abroad, especially in the neighboring France, then widely open. Hence, since the times preceding the Matteotti crime, the formation of associations and groups that abroad opposed the passage to the fascist propaganda.

This current of emigration, political and economic at the same time, directed towards the traditional centers of the Italian exodus, reached a great intensity in a few years: over one hundred thousand Italians had flowed into the Seine department alone in one year. This emigration considered neither closed nor lost the civil war that had taken place on the national territory and reacted with violence to the first appearances of fascism abroad. Thus it was that in February 1924 Nicola Bonservizi, founder of the Parisian fasces, was mortally wounded. The killer, a young anarchist waiter, Ernesto Bonomini, was sentenced to eight years by the Assizes of the Seine.

In the meantime, political events, starting with the Matteotti crime, led to an increasing number of liberal politicians and collaborators of fascism who had broken with it to France; of eminent men and questionable characters, of heroes and adventurers; it is in this first period of emigration, not really politically controlled, that fascism created the legend of the “outcast” who feasting on the “boites de nuit” plots his return to Italy, with weapons or bombs. The decree of March 1926 which deprived De Ambris, Ciccotti-Scozzese, Cuzzani, Donati, Frola, GA Grimaldi, Pedrini, Pistocchi, Salerno, Salvemini, Tonello, Triaca, Vacirca of Italian citizenship also refers to this first period.

In truth, in all this period, only one collective enterprise was attempted among the exiles. These are the famous “Garibaldian legions”, recruited by commoners exiles (anarchists, republicans, socialists and communists); legions who were supposed to arm themselves, cross the border and, together with the Italian fighters of “Free Italy”, carry out a kind of reverse “march on Rome”. Except that this movement, organized without the most elementary precautions, was spoiled in the head. In a sensational trial, made against the Spanish colonel Macía for a similar undertaking against Catalonia, the relations between the head of the legions, Ricciotti Garibaldi, and the Italian police chief Lapolla who had paid him 645,000 lire were revealed (arrest of Ricciotti, November 1926).

For this reason the “exiles” did not tire of operating against the regime, and three of the attackers against Mussolini came from abroad: Lucetti, even before the scandal of the “legions”, Sbardellotto and Schirru.

From abroad, the daring propaganda flights of Bassanesi and Dolci on Milan, of Lauro De Bosis on Rome, and the escape of Rosselli, Lussu and F. Nitti from Lipari were also organized; in addition to the many other unsuccessful attempts, the return of the personality of the outsider in Italy to work against the regime (among these Ernesto Rossi, Sandro Pertini, Giorgio Amendola, Camilla Ravera and many others). There were also demonstrations abroad against particularly conspicuous fascist hierarchs (demonstrations in America against Balbo’s visit), attacks against personalities of the regime (attack by Fernando De Rosa against the crown prince Umberto of Savoy in Brussels on October 26, 1929), etc. .

Italian Political Emigration During Fascism

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