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The Resistance Begins

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Abstract

This chapter examines the Roman communists’ activity in the 45 Days between the 25 July 1943 palace coup against Mussolini and the German invasion on 8 September. The liberalisation period following Marshal Badoglio’s appointment allowed the formation of the political movements that would go on to shape the Resistance. This chapter explains how the Italian Communist Party’s ‘national-unity’ policy hardened it against the dissident Communist Movement of Italy, as the rival currents of Roman communism took on greater organisational definition.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-76489-0_3
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Notes

  1. 1.

    See Mason’s essay on the March 1943 strikes and the PCI mythology of them, in Mason, Timothy. 2008. Nazism, Fascism and the Working Class. Cambridge: CUP.

  2. 2.

    Discussed in Petrella, Luigi. 2016. Staging the Fascist War. New York: Peter Lang.

  3. 3.

    Raganella, Libero. 2000. Senza sapere di che parte stanno. Rome: Bulzoni, p. 91.

  4. 4.

    Ibid., p. 93.

  5. 5.

    Ibid., p. 95.

  6. 6.

    Discussed in Piccioni, Lidia. 1984. San Lorenzo, un quartiere romano durante il fascismo. Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, pp. 142–3.

  7. 7.

    Raponi, Franca. 2011. ‘Storia Partigiana’. Unpublished.

  8. 8.

    A bid to build supplies of precious metals by popular contribution.

  9. 9.

    Discussed in Piccioni, San Lorenzo, un quartiere romano durante il fascismo.

  10. 10.

    See Portelli’s interview with Stame’s daughter Rosetta in Circolo Gianni Bosio, Fondo Alessandro Portelli (henceforth CGB/FAP)/Stame.

  11. 11.

    Piccioni, San Lorenzo, un quartiere romano durante il fascismo

  12. 12.

    In conversations with elderly San Lorenzo residents during my research I was repeatedly told that any local Fascists ‘must have’ come from outside the neighbourhood.

  13. 13.

    Piccioni, San Lorenzo, un quartiere romano durante il fascismo.

  14. 14.

    Bentivegna, Rosario. 1983. Achtung Banditen. Milan: Mursia, pp. 64–8, describes this Armata Rossa commander also supplying explosives to the GAP.

  15. 15.

    Described in his interview with Alessandro Portelli in CGB/FAP.

  16. 16.

    Quoted in Behan, Tom. 2009. The Italian Resistance: Fascists, Guerrillas and the Allies. London: Pluto Press, p. 43.

  17. 17.

    Massola usefully reconstructs the rations situation, including in the Northern cities in the months before the 1943 strike wave: Massola, Umberto. 1973. Gli scioperi del ’43. Rome: Riuniti.

  18. 18.

    ‘President Roosevelt to Prime Minister’, 30.7.1943, cited in Churchill, Winston. 1951. Closing the Ring: The Second World War, Vol. V. New York: Houghton Mifflin, p. 59.

  19. 19.

    Ibid.

  20. 20.

    ‘Prime Minister to Foreign Secretary’, 9.8.1943, in Churchill, Closing the Ring, p. 91.

  21. 21.

    ‘Former Naval Person to President Roosevelt’, 31.7.1943, in Churchill, Closing the Ring, p. 59.

  22. 22.

    ‘Former Naval Person to President Roosevelt’, 5.8.1943, in Churchill, Closing the Ring, p. 89.

  23. 23.

    Ibid.

  24. 24.

    Peregalli, Arturo. 1991. L’altra resistenza. Milan: Graphos, p. 13.

  25. 25.

    Ibid.

  26. 26.

    See Bonomi’s diary of this period: Bonomi, Ivanoe. 1947. Diario di un anno (2 giugno 1943-10 giugno 1944). Milan: Garzani.

  27. 27.

    Amendola, Giorgio. 1973. Lettere a Milano. Rome: Riuniti, p. 131.

  28. 28.

    Gluckstein, Donny. 2013. A People’s History of the Second World War: Resistance Versus Empire. London: Pluto Press, p. 155.

  29. 29.

    Spriano, Paolo. 1973. Storia del Partito comunista italiano. Vol. IV, La fine del fascismo. Della riscossa operaia alla lotta armata. Turin: Einaudi.

  30. 30.

    Ibid.

  31. 31.

    Amendola, Lettere a Milano, p. 153.

  32. 32.

    Ibid.

  33. 33.

    PCI Federazione Laziale, Comitato direttivo federale, ‘Rapporto politico’, late November 1943: in Fondazione Gramsci, Archivio Partito Comunista (henceforth APC)/7/2/14, p. 4.

  34. 34.

    Ibid., p. 4.

  35. 35.

    The report also refers to the arrest of the Pugno Chiuso [clenched fist] group, led by the Catholic-Communists around Franco Rodano.

  36. 36.

    PCI Federazione Laziale, Comitato direttivo federale, ‘Rapporto politico’, late November 1943, in APC/7/2/14, p. 3.

  37. 37.

    Ibid., p. 4.

  38. 38.

    Ibid.

  39. 39.

    Ibid.

  40. 40.

    Ibid., pp. 1–2.

  41. 41.

    Ibid., p. 4.

  42. 42.

    Ibid.

  43. 43.

    ‘Una discussione con gli operai nel clima dei “45 giorni”’. L’Unità, 20.1.1957.

  44. 44.

    Ibid.

  45. 45.

    See the entry in MCd’I. 1944. I nostri martiri. Rome: Bandiera Rossa. See also Sect. 6.3.

  46. 46.

    See Il Comandante del Trionfale, a 1945 pamphlet in homage to Romolo Iacopini. Copy at Istituto Romano Storia d’Italia dal Fascismo alla resistenza.

  47. 47.

    Attenti!, p. 2, ‘25 Luglio’

  48. 48.

    Attenti!, p. 1, ‘25 Luglio’.

  49. 49.

    Ibid.

  50. 50.

    Attenti!, p. 2, ‘Cronachetta’.

  51. 51.

    Ibid.

  52. 52.

    Guzzo, Roberto [‘Giorgio Genzius’]. 1964. Tormento e gloria. Verità alla ribalta, Florence: Guzzo, p. 48.

  53. 53.

    Ibid.

  54. 54.

    Orfeo Mucci, interview for Regione Lazio, Banca della Memoria, 1995, available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlSyH9tiFZY.

  55. 55.

    Ibid.

  56. 56.

    ‘La nostra propaganda’: Archivio Centrale dello Stato (henceforth ACS)/AGS/PS/F1/104/1314. Much of the text is reworked in ‘In linea’. Bandiera Rossa, 5.10.1943.

  57. 57.

    Ibid.

  58. 58.

    Ibid.

  59. 59.

    Ibid.

  60. 60.

    ‘Proclama Comunista—democrazia operaia’, in Fondazione Basso, Fondo Gerardo Bruni (henceforth FB/FGB)/3/7/1. Much of the text is reworked in ‘Serena intuizione’. Bandiera Rossa, 22.10.1943.

  61. 61.

    Ibid.

  62. 62.

    Corvisieri, Silverio. 1968. Bandiera Rossa nella Resistenza romana. Rome: Samonà e Savelli.

  63. 63.

    ‘Proclama Comunista—democrazia operaia’, FB/FGB/3/7/1.

  64. 64.

    ‘La nostra propaganda’: ACS/AGS/PS/F1/104/1314.

  65. 65.

    Unnumbered 1945 typescript, Museo Storico della Liberazione, Fondo Silverio Corvisieri (henceforth MSdL/FSC)/29/87.

  66. 66.

    ‘La nostra propaganda’: ACS/AGS/PS/F1/104/1314.

  67. 67.

    Nenni, Pietro. 1981. Tempo di guerra fredda: diari 1943-1956. Milan: SugarCo, p. 23.

  68. 68.

    As described in ‘Rivoluzione o collaborazione’. Bandiera Rossa [Milan], II/3, 25.5.1944.

  69. 69.

    ‘Unità proletaria’. Avanti!, 47/1, 1.8.1943.

  70. 70.

    ‘Parliamo a voi’. Scintilla, 2, p. 2.

  71. 71.

    Carlo Matteotti, ‘Compagni lavoratori di tutti i partiti, di tutte le categorie’, copy in FB/FGB/3/7/1.

  72. 72.

    Ibid.

  73. 73.

    Ibid.

  74. 74.

    Ibid.

  75. 75.

    Ibid.

  76. 76.

    Quoted in Piscitelli, Enzo. 1965. Storia della Resistenza Romana. Bari: Laterza, p. 39.

  77. 77.

    Ibid.

  78. 78.

    Ibid.

  79. 79.

    The exception being Guzzo, Tormento e gloria, p. 32.

  80. 80.

    Aga Rossi, Elena. 2006. Una nazione allo sbando. Bologna: il Mulino.

  81. 81.

    See ‘Partecipazione alla difesa di Roma’, MSdL/FSC/29/87.

  82. 82.

    Ibid.

  83. 83.

    As noted by Corvisieri, Bandiera Rossa nella Resistenza romana.

  84. 84.

    ‘Antonio Calvani’, in MCd’I, I nostri martiri.

  85. 85.

    See the extensive reports on the looting on subsequent days in ACS/MI/DGPS/AGR/A5G/II guerra mondiale/146.

  86. 86.

    Ibid.

  87. 87.

    ACS/MI/DGPS/AGR/A5G/II guerra mondiale/146, ‘13 Settembre 1943—Relazione della Questura di Roma per il capo della Polizia’.

  88. 88.

    ACS/MI/DGPS/AGR/A5G/II guerra mondiale/146, ‘10 Settembre 1943—Relazione del capo della Polizia’.

  89. 89.

    See files collected in MSdL/FSC.

  90. 90.

    Guzzo, Tormento e gloria; Orfeo Mucci, interview for Regione Lazio, Banca della Memoria, 1995, available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlSyH9tiFZY.

  91. 91.

    Portelli, Alessandro. 2003. The Order Has Already Been Carried Out. New York: Palgrave, p. 122.

  92. 92.

    Untitled. L’Unità, 19.9.1943.

  93. 93.

    ‘In linea’. Bandiera Rossa, 5.10.1943.

  94. 94.

    Ibid.

  95. 95.

    Ibid.

  96. 96.

    ‘Perché collaborare?’ Bandiera Rossa, 5.10.1943.

  97. 97.

    Ibid.

  98. 98.

    ‘Proletari!’. FB/FGB/3/7/1.

  99. 99.

    ‘Perché collaborare?’ Bandiera Rossa, 5.10.1943.

  100. 100.

    Tre storie di Roma clandestina’. L’Unità, 20.1.1957; Corvisieri, Bandiera Rossa nella Resistenza romana, based on Felice Chilanti’s testimony (Primo incontro con Chilanti 3.6.1966’: MSdL/FSC/26/22).

  101. 101.

    Ibid.

  102. 102.

    An appeal made in ‘Serena intuizione’. Bandiera Rossa, 22.10.1943.

  103. 103.

    Tre storie di Roma clandestina’. L’Unità, 20.1.1957.

  104. 104.

    Ibid.

  105. 105.

    Ibid.

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Broder, D. (2021). The Resistance Begins. In: The Rebirth of Italian Communism, 1943–44. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76489-0_3

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