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Camillo Berneri

Camillo Berneri

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Camillo Berneri was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 professor of philosophy, anarchist militant, propagandist and theorist.

Berneri, a World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 veteran, University of Florence
University of Florence
The University of Florence is a higher study institute in Florence, central Italy. One of the largest and oldest universities in the country, it consists of 12 faculties...

 professor of humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, and a member of the Unione Anarchica Italiana, had been opposed to the takeover of his country by Fascists
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

, engaging in resistance until 1926, when he was forced to take refuge to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, then Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, and finally the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. In all these countries, Berneri was frequently placed under arrest, being usually expelled. Although under constant surveillance, he nonetheless wrote on several topics, mostly anti-clerical
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen...

 and anti-fascist
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...


With Carlo Rosselli
Carlo Rosselli
Carlo Rosselli was an Italian political leader, journalist, historian and anti-fascist activist, first in Italy then abroad...

, Berneri organized the first column of Italian volunteers to fight in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 against Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's attempted takeover, where he took part in the battles of Monte Pelado and Huesca
Huesca is a city in north-eastern Spain, within the autonomous community of Aragon. It is also the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the comarca of Hoya de Huesca....

 (in Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

) together with the Spanish anarchists of Francisco Ascaso
Francisco Ascaso
Francisco Ascaso Abadía was a prominent Anarcho-syndicalist figure in Spain.A baker and waiter, Ascaso joined the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo and one of its armed groups, Los Justicieros...

 Column and the Italians of the Matteotti Battalion
Matteotti Battalion
The Matteotti Battalion or "Centuria Giustizia e Libertà" or Italian Column was an Italian radical and anarchist exile group which fought with the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War...

. He became highly critical of the involvement of Confederación Nacional del Trabajo
Confederación Nacional del Trabajo
The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo is a Spanish confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions affiliated with the International Workers Association . When working with the latter group it is also known as CNT-AIT...

 (CNT) members in the Popular Front
Popular Front (Spain)
The Popular Front in Spain's Second Republic was an electoral coalition and pact signed in January 1936 by various left-wing political organisations, instigated by Manuel Azaña for the purpose of contesting that year's election....

 government, expressing his views in an open letter to Federica Montseny
Federica Montseny
Federica Montseny i Mañé was a Spanish anarchist, intellectual and Minister of Health during the social revolution that occurred in Spain parallel to the Civil War...

 (Anarchist minister for Health).

During the Barcelona May Days
Barcelona May Days
Barcelona May Days were a period of civil violence in Catalonia, between May 3 and May 8, 1937, when factions on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War engaged each other in street battles in the city of Barcelona.Clashes began when units of the Assault Guard – under the...

, as squads of Communist Party of Spain members (apparently under orders from Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

) took to the streets in order to hunt down leading anarchists, Berneri was dragged from his home and murdered. His body, riddled with bullets, was found during the night, near the headquarters of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Generalitat de Catalunya
The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution under which the autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia....


He was married to Giovanna Berneri, and was father of Marie-Louise Berneri
Marie-Louise Berneri
Marie Louise Berneri was an anarchist activist and author. She was involved with the short-lived publication, Revision, with Luis Mercier Vega and was a member of the group that edited Revolt, War Commentary, and the Freedom newspaper, which is still being published by the Freedom Bookstore in...

 and Giliane Berneri, all of whom were also anarchists.

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