Italian resistance before 1943?

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
mihu
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Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by mihu » 04 Apr 2020 18:55

Was there any overt resistance by Italians to Mussolini's regime before 1943? Or were people in the country happy enough with him until he started losing them the war? I'm not talking about people grumbling in cafes, but actually going out and taking physical action against the regime: public protests, armed operations, sabotage, assassinations, dissemination of anti-fascist propaganda, etc.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by Sheldrake » 04 Apr 2020 20:13

By 1940 the Facist government had been in power for 17 years. Political opponents had been locked up. There were many Ethiopians who resisted the Italian occupation and would cause a lot of trouble when the British attacked that country.

mihu
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Re: Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by mihu » 04 Apr 2020 20:47

Sheldrake wrote:
04 Apr 2020 20:13
By 1940
My question is not limited to WW2. I'm asking about the entirety of the fascist regime, 1922-43.

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Re: Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by mihu » 05 Apr 2020 00:27

Just came across this group: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arditi_del_Popolo
It would be interesting to know how much popular support they had in Italy at the time, or if there were other militant anti-fascist groups in the country then...

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Re: Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by SloveneLiberal » 05 Apr 2020 08:12

Concerning parts of Italy which were annexed after WW1 and had majority Slovenian population:

Organization TIGR was established in 1927 after Italian fascist banned Slovenian political parties, schools and cultural societies. Program for forced italianization of Slovene nation was fully carried out by fascists.

Antifascist groups were widely spread in Primorska which was annexed by Italy after world war one. Some like catholic priestly society of Saint Paul were more oriented toward passive resistance like taking care for Slovenian language under church activities. Yet they were also passing important informations to authorities in Ljubljana.

Other groups like nationalistic TIGR or catholic Black brothers were also doing sabotages and stockpiling weapons for resistance. TIGR was connected also with Italian Partito di Acione and Italian communist party and was demanding the right for self determination for Slovenian people.

Some groups of "patriotic communists" not organized under the banner of communist party were also established and were doing sabotage like in Ocizla for example. They were doing anti-fascist propaganda and also sabotages like burning down local municipality building in 1934.

In spring 1940 TIGR made sabotages on railroads in both Italy and Austria which was already part of Third Reich. Diversion in Austria was carried out on 19. May 1941 at Judenburg. Sabotages were the work of TIGR group Kravanja-Ivancic. After this Gestapo and Italian police joined forces and arrested many members of TIGR. At that time TIGR was connected also with British inteligence as they were natural allies in this period of WW2.

Slovenski spijoni in SOE 1938-42, book written by dr. Jera Vodusek Staric. Page 152/153.

Unfortunately the important members of TIGR were killed or captured in the battle with Italian police forces on 13. May 1941 at Mala gora. That happened already after Italian occupation and annexation of so called Ljubljanska pokrajina after the short war with kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Later many members of TIGR joined partisans and Liberation Front. Yet some were also killed during the war by stalinistic communists or were persecuted just after the war.

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Re: Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by SloveneLiberal » 05 Apr 2020 11:44

Some examples of early activity of TIGR:

In the headquarters of the fascist and strongly anti-Slovene/Slavic newspaper Il Popolo di Trieste TIGR placed a bomb on 10.2. 1930 killing the editor Guido Neri who was staying there late at night. Later some italianized schools were burned down by TIGR resistance fighters. It is interesting that when they burned during the night the school in Spodnja Branica they left near this place also some Italian antifascist newspapers like La Liberta or L'Italia del Popolo ( both printed in France ). An indication that there were connections between TIGR and some Italian anti-fascist organizations as mentioned before.

Because of such actions later four TIGR resistance fighters were killed at Bazovica in September 1930 after a trial in Trst.

In April 1930 another group of TIGR guerrillas killed fascist judge and his wife in Boršt. According to the testimony of one of the guerrillas Petaros they had a plan to save imprisoned antifascists from jails at that time. But plan was not realized because regime forces were to strong. They prepared also an ambush for fascist Emilio Grazioli leader of fascist militia in Kras, but he was warned about the ambush. Later in 1941 after the war with kingdom of Yugoslavia Grazioli was named commissar for the occupied area of Ljubljanska Pokrajina or so called Provincia di Lubiana.

Prvi antifašizem v Evropi, written by dr. Milica Kacin-Wohinc, published in 1990, Koper, pages 262, 264-265.

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Re: Italian resistance before 1943?

Post by SloveneLiberal » 10 Apr 2020 15:48

Also it should be mentioned here i think that Italian antifascists which had their main base in France under Popular Front government ( which neutral on outside was still sending aircraft to Madrid and trained republican pilots in covert operations ) were fighting with Italian fascists already in Spain during civil war in 30s. Around 3400 Italians were fighting on republican side. That number included members of Italian socialist, communist and GL party ( Giustizia e liberta ).

Odporniško gibanje v Italiji, written by Roberto Battaglia, published in 1971, Ljubljana, page 21.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_i ... War#France

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