Roberto Farinacci

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Roberto Farinacci
Roberto Farinacci.png
Born 16 October 1892
Isernia, Molise, Italy
Died 28 April 1945
Vimercate, Lombardy, Italy
Nationality Italian
Occupation politician, railworker, journalist, soldier
Party National Fascist Party
National Security Volunteer Militia

Roberto Farinacci (16 October 1892 — 28 April 1945) was an Italian politician and journalist, best known for his association with the National Fascist Party in Italy. From a humble family background, he worked as a young man on the railroad and was involved in local socialist groups in Cremona. After the First World War which he participated in, in association with Benito Mussolini, he became a local leader of the Fascists in Cremona. Farinacci became widely respected in the movement and gained a reputation for toughness; physical and ideological; on the more syndicalist wing of fascism.

Farinacci was one of the major figures involved in the Italian Revolution, bringing the system of fascism to power, before and after the March on Rome. He became one of the most powerful men in the country as the Secretary of the National Fascist Party from 1925 to 1926. Following this he disappeared from the limelight, practicising law. He fought in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War with the MVSN, losing a hand and becoming a Lieutenant General. Joining the Grand Council of Fascism in 1935 he returned to public prominence. He also fought on the Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War.

During the Second World War, he was strongly pro-German in outlook and a firm believer in the Axis. He argued for the exclusion of Jews from Italian society. Farinacci was active in Albania as Inspector of the Militia. He was one of the 7 men to vote against Dino Grandi's proposal on 24 July 1943 to remove Mussolini and restore authority to king Victor Emmanuel III. There was some talk of Farinacci heading up the Italian Social Republic before Mussolini was rescued in Operation Oak. After this he retired from politics, but was murdered by communist terrorists at Vimercate in the spring of 1945.


Early life

Farinacci was born in Isernia, Molise, a town in southern Italy to a family of humble means. His father was a public safety commisioner and when Roberto was eight years old, they moved north for work, first to Tortona and then Cremona. Farinacci left school early to work, where he found employment on the railways, where he worked for 12 years. Here he began his political activities by reorganising an agrarian socialist trade union. Farinacci also became involved in journalism as the Cremona correspondent of Il Popolo d'Italia, the Italian Socialist Party newspaper under the editorialship of Benito Mussolini. After participating in the First World War as a volunteer, he left the local socialist circle of Leonida Bissolati and became involved in the emerging fascist movement.

The Fasci Italiani di Combattimento was reorganised by Mussolini in Milan in 1919 and Farinacci established himself as the Ras of the local Cremona section. With the help of Professor Alessandro Groppali, he was able to recieve in a short time, a degree in Law. The local fasci in Cremona were famous for their toughness. For instance on 6 September 1920, the day after the regional conference, a band of 300 fascists under Farinacci fought off 3000 supporters of Bolshevism; the patriot Vittorio Podesta was killed, as well as the vetran Luciano Priori (who was simply passing by). Their funerals were attended by around 10,000 people in Cremona. Farinacci's background, aggressiveness and charismatic down to earth persona attracted to his ranks many young people of a similar disposition. In the election of May 1921, he won a majority in 16 municipalities as violence continued (2 dead, 20 injured, 181 arrests) until the summer.