Umbertide 1944-1946:
from the Liberation to the Referendum
" Political-Administrative activity"
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by Alessandro Cancian

Author's Note

"Umbertide 1944 -1946: From Liberation to Referendum - Political-Administrative Activity"

This is the title of the degree thesis, which completed my studies at the Faculty of Sociology of the University of Urbino, back in 1992. 

The intent that drove me to undertake this work, in addition to the passion and pleasure of being able to study and deepen the past events of my city, was mainly to fill a gap that, at the time, I had found in the studies conducted on the history of Umbertide and its territory.

I was amazed, in fact, that no author had ever considered the immediate postwar period (1944-1946), a really interesting period for the various ferments that characterized it.

However, the many difficulties I encountered in researching historical sources convinced me that this historical gap was not due to the disinterest of scholars, but to the scarcity and ... disorder in which the documentation to consult lay, which only for a very short time (i.e. from when it was possible to publish the documents) the Municipality of Umbertide  he was trying to give a proper arrangement.

Not even the press of the time was of much comfort to me; he seemed, in fact, to have almost totally disregarded  what happened in our territory. The oral testimonies, often fragmentary and confused, were also of little support, also taking into account that many protagonists of the events I was about to investigate had now, unfortunately, disappeared.

All this, however, did not cause me to lose heart; on the contrary, it stimulated me to a greater commitment, both in research and in verifying the sources, and then in "mending" the events with the ultimate aim of giving their succession continuity and reliability.

In addition to published sources such as books, newspapers and magazines, certainly the most interesting material, because it is absolutely unpublished, the subject of my meticulous investigation were the Acts and the Register of Minutes of the then CNL Municipal Section of Umbertide, and the Acts and the Register of the resolutions of the then Municipal Council of Umbria.

Even today, as then, I do not intend to risk an assessment of what I actually managed to achieve. As I stated at the end of my work, I would have contented myself with arousing the curiosity of those scholars who, from the height of their experience and professionalism, would certainly have been able to achieve much more completely what was in my intentions.

 

May 2020

The last gasps of war

Immediately after the political-military events of '43, some Umbertidesi antifascists contact the clandestine National Liberation Committee (1), without the local fascist authorities doing much to catch the subversives in the act, well known in a small town which was Umbertide (2).

At the end of 1943, the presence of the German army in the territory of the Upper Tiber Valley begins to become more consistent and more dangerous. The soldiers of the Wehrmacht are flanked or, even worse, are replaced by units of the SS, who see every Italian as a "traitor" and behave accordingly: then, especially in the countryside, raids and cruelties of all kinds begin.

Against the German troops and the fascist militia there is the I 'Proletaria d'Urto Brigade, a new partisan formation better known as the San Faustino, born on the initiative of a group of anti-fascists, mostly liberals, headed by Bonuccio Bonucci of Perugia . Almost all of them come from the areas of Perugia, Umbertide, Città di Castello, Gubbio. San Faustino operates in the Umbrian-Marche Apennines and in particular in the mountain range of the municipality of Pietralunga.

 

 

 

 

And since the partisan presence in this territory represents for the Germans a serious threat to transit on the alternative routes of connection for the transport of weapons, ammunition and provisions, there are several roundups put in place, which involve or keep in suspense the inhabitants of the countryside surrounding Umbertide. Yet the greatest tragedies have yet to unfold ...

At 10.20 am on 25 April 1944, a squadron of 12 Allied fighter-bombers dives from the hills of the Serra. The objectives of the raid are the two bridges over the Tiber: that of the state road "Tiberina 3 bis" (the famous road of the Rome-Berlin axis) and that of the Central Umbrian Apennines, which connects Umbertide to Fossato di Vico and Arezzo.

The populous district of San Giovanni (today Piazza XXV Aprile) is unfortunately close to the objectives: the two bridges remain standing, but 74  (they are 70 ed) unarmed citizens perish under the bombs dropped by pilots who are perhaps too young and inexperienced.

In the afternoon a new raid which, fortunately, causes neither victims nor damage. Three days later, with a third bombing, an arch of the road bridge is destroyed. The railway one will be blown up later by the German sappers.

For many years, historical credit was given to a popular voice, which held the Prefectural Commissioner Ramaccioni responsible for the deaths of the bombing, for not wanting to sound the air alarm sirens.

Instead, research carried out by scholars Bruno Porrozzi, Raffaele Mancini and Mario Tosti, made it possible to return, after a long time, the truth of the episode and to remove this shadow about the behavior of the Commissioner (3).

When, on June 20, 1944, the news arrives that Perugia is in the hands of the Anglo-Americans, the inhabitants of Umbertide are convinced that the following day they too will be "freed".

And instead the Allies, by now for consolidated war strategy, take it easy: 15 days must pass before the 8th Army riflemen appear in the rubble of the San Giovanni quarter. Fifteen days in which the Germans (after the flight of the main fascist hierarchs), remain absolute masters of the territory of the Upper Tiber Valley, which is put to fire and sword.

In Umbertide the Tobacco Factory and the Railway Workshop are set on fire. The countryside is looted. And, unfortunately, the Nazi anger is blindly vented even on unarmed citizens. On June 24, 1944, near the ancient castle of Serra Partucci, a few kilometers from Umbertide, a retreating German unit took up arms to five young men. The reason has always remained unclear, even if the popular rumor speaks of retaliation for a never ascertained wounding of a German soldier.

Four days later, in the locality of Penetola, in the countryside of the Umbertide district of Niccone, without any reason (not even explainable in the light of the raw logic of war), a platoon of SS (but it is to be believed that some of them were Italians wearing the German uniforms ...), is tainted with an atrocious crime: penetrating a peasant house in the middle of the night, they set it on fire, firing on anyone who tries to escape the stake.

Twelve people perish thus barbarously, including three women and five boys.

​ 1. The Umbertidese artisans G. Vestrelli (carpenter) and A. Taticchi (barber), together with prof. R. Simonucci, received news and orders from Pio Taticchi (Antonio's brother), who resided in Rome and had in fact contacts with men of the National Liberation Committee, still "clandestine".

  2. More than an oral testimony, however, reports that the "historical" nucleus of the Umbertidesi antifascists had never been too inclined to proselytize, especially among young people: and this "closure" has certainly avoided leaks about the activities of the nucleus itself.

  3. Precise documents attest that Ramaccioni has long ago requested an "air warning signal", which the Prefecture refuses to grant.

 

 

 

 

 
 
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1975. Bonuccio Bonucci, founder of the San Faustino Brigade, receives an honor from the Mayor Celestino Sonaglia 
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Prefectural Commissioner Luigi Ramaccioni
 
 

1944 - The Liberation and the Public Health Committee

On 5 July 1944 the allies entered Umbertide without encountering any resistance.  The wounds, however, are still too much alive, too deep among the people of Umbria to give rise to outbursts of joy for the “liberation”. 

On the same 5th July, eleven citizens gathered in the home of maestro Raoul Bonucci to set up a Public Health Committee. Maestro Raffaele Mancini, who lost part of it, reported the following: 

“It was a spontaneous and completely improvised meeting. […] We were convinced that in some way it was necessary to act, but honestly we could not organize the hundred ideas that each of us was proposing. Fortunately, prof. Simonucci, municipal deputy secretary and a man of great experience and considerable culture. In a nutshell he convinced us that first of all it was necessary to deal with the situation of Umbertide, where chaos was in danger of taking over.

Raoul Bonucci's house was a stone's throw away: eleven of us were there. The intention was to define ourselves as the National Liberation Committee, Umbertide section. But it would take the approval of the Provincial CNL, as well as a representation of the various parties. The professor. Simonucci then proposed the denomination Committee of Public Health […] We therefore took into consideration the situation of our town and began to get busy ”.

The Public Health Committee does not have a charter. Only ten days later, someone wanted to make that informal meeting official, drawing up a meager list of eleven names, with the party to which they belong to the side:​

Boldrini In the Communist

Boldrini Nenella  Communist

Mancini Raffaele Communist

Communist Nanni Ramiro

Taticchi Antonio Communist

Simonucci Raffaele - C?

Bonucci Raoul - C?

Rometti Aspromonte socialist

Baldelli Dante  socialist

Ramaccioni Renato P. Action

Improved Socialist Joseph

It is curious to note how the editor, in an attempt to attribute to each

member of the Committee a political connotation, is in some difficulty.

Does the letter C prove it? alongside the names of Simonucci and Bonucci (Communists?)

On how much and how the Committee of  Public Health work, you do not have

official documents, but we know for sure that one of the first assignments that

it is attributed is to form teams of "vigilante" to avoid acts

of looting among the rubble and the houses that the "displaced" people have left

unattended. It also works to fight the black market and, above all,

the first official contacts are made with the provincial section of the Committee of

National Liberation, which is based in Perugia.

However, beyond its specific activity, it should be recognized that the Committee of

Public Health, in these moments of strong disorientation, plays a role of

fundamental importance in terms of stimulation and coordination of the first, frenetic initiatives, waiting for the official bodies to regain control of the political and administrative life of Umbertide.

Thus we arrive at 23 July 1944, the day on which the local section of the CNL of National Liberation is established, the Public Health Committee is dissolved, also because the Allied Military Governor has now appointed a Mayor.

1944 - The Municipal Administration… the first steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Allied Military Governor appoints Dr. Mariano Migliorati, surgeon, as Mayor. 

The Mayor, who had been entrusted with the mandate to form a Municipal Council, after a few days proposes to the Allied Military Governor a list of names taking into account their moral position more than their political one. Names are all accepted.

Composition of the Municipal Council:

Giuseppe Migliorati, Aspromonte Rometti and Tramaglino Cerrini are socialists; Nello Boldrioni and Giuseppe Rondoni are communists; Francesco Martinelli is close to the Action Party; Renato Ramaccioni is a liberal; Attilio Scannavini is a Christian Democrat, along with Giorgio Rappini, of whom there is no precise information. Municipal Secretary A. Bartolomei is appointed.

The council met for the first time on 9 August 1944 and immediately resolved, on the order of the Allied Military Governor, to take disciplinary measures against those municipal employees who, "given political precedents", cannot remain in service. 16 employees are thus identified, who will be suspended from service and salary from 15 August. This measure will have a long aftermath and will be the subject of numerous disputes and disputes between the Municipality and the Prefecture.

Furthermore, it should be noted that discontent is spreading in the village due to the sad phenomenon of hoarding: it appears, in fact, that most of the traders and producers have accumulated and hidden in improvised warehouses "lots of various kinds" that are sold on the "black market".

Therefore, the suspicion arises that the employees of the Annonario Office and the Annonary Vigilant Corps are not doing their duty, or that they are even complicit in this situation. It was therefore decided to dismiss some employees (replacing them with new ones) and to suspend the aforementioned brigades indefinitely. In their place, a Nucleus of Annonary Police has been set up (as indeed the provisions of the "superior bodies" require) to be entrusted with the task of carrying out checks on the real or presumed irregularities that many citizens are denouncing.

Therefore the Council, given the serious conditions in which almost all citizenship is found, appoints the members who must make up the Administration Committee of the Local Municipal Body for Assistance (ECA), as ordered by the Prefecture of Perugia.

On 28 August 1944 the meeting of the Municipal Council is dedicated to the appointment of the new head physician of the Civil Hospital of Umbertide. The task (on the proposal of the Allied Military Governor himself) is entrusted to the mayor himself, dr. Mariano Migliorati, who takes over from dr. M. Valdinoci, suspended for political reasons, and included in the list drawn up in the session of 9 August.

 

Giuseppe Migliorati replaces Mariano Migliorati at the helm of the Municipality

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 2 September 1944 the office of Mayor remains vacant and therefore a new appointment must be made. Also in this case it is the Allied Military Governor who indicates the replacement, choosing from among the members of the same council the surveyor Giuseppe Migliorati, well known in Umbertide, and highly esteemed.

Even if there are no official objections to this choice by either the men of the CNL or the Board, almost certainly there must have been some contrast, because with the entry into force of the new Mayor there is an almost total renewal of the Board, which now it has been extended to 12 members. Scrolling through the names, we note that only A. Martinelli of the Action Party and the socialist A. Rometti remain of the previous one, who is also a close friend of the Mayor. It also appears significant that of the other 10 members none belong to the Communist Party.

The New Administration immediately worked to resolve the most pressing problems. In this regard, the Mayor sent a very detailed report to the Prefect of Perugia, about the disastrous conditions in which the town of Umbertide and the municipal area in general found themselves, also offering valuable advice on how to deal with and resolve them.

To combat the sad phenomenon of hoarding and the so-called "black market" and to cope with the lack of shops, in August the Municipal Administration created a Bottegone Comunale del Popolo , for the distribution of rationed goods, collected in a special Center where all producers can converge. 

The management is entrusted to a provisional Board of Directors, chaired by two men of the Executive (the socialists Aspromonte Rometti and Tramaglino Cerini), who take care of its organization and operation. It is said that the Bottegone will continue to operate until normal commercial activity is restored, and then decide whether to close it or transform it into a consumer cooperative. The initiative found wide acceptance and so, in a short time, the Bottegone found itself having to cope with a mass of work that no one expected. It was therefore decided to transform it into a consumer cooperative. In this regard, Rometti is responsible for drafting a "leaflet" sent to all workers, so that they become members.

In the heading of the Flyer we note that Rometti has replaced the more technical wording of "Magazzino" from the popular dialectal term "Bottegone". But on November 12, 1944, when the deed of incorporation must be drawn up before the notary, the sentiment of tradition prevails, and the cooperative was called by its first name "Bottegone Comunale del Popolo". 191 shares are awarded, for a total of £ 20,300. For the record, the Bottegone will function until the seventies, when it will be replaced by COOP - Umbria.

Another delicate situation that the council has to face is that of housing. After the war raids, the population has spread a little everywhere, but it is pressing to return to the village, where, however, many houses have been destroyed, and many others damaged. In this way, a special office and a special commission are created to supervise the relevant services. The commissioner Arnaldo Zurli presides over the census of the lodgings and their assignment.

It is established that each room must be occupied by at least two people and, where possible, families are invited to welcome other families. A Commission is also appointed to fix the rental prices which must be fair and in keeping with the economic situation of the tenant. In doing so, it is possible to buffer a dramatic situation.

Regarding the viability, the council promotes a voluntary consortium among the interested parties, for the construction of footbridges to replace the destroyed bridges within the municipal area. A commission is then appointed for the bridge-reconstruction consortium, which is entrusted with the task of drawing up estimates and supervising the works.

In late autumn, the need arises to provide somehow the heating of the houses and it is decided to distribute coal and wood to the population through the special Wood and Coal Commission which will have to work to ensure that the distribution takes place in an equitable manner and privileges the most needy.

These, therefore, are the initiatives taken by the Municipal Council from August to November of '44. This is no small thing, if we consider that it must act in constant conflict with the local section of the CNL, which increasingly sees in the figure of the Mayor an expression of prefectural power (or that of the Allied Military Governor) and not of the will of the citizens of Umbria.

A conflict that ends up determining the resignation of Migliorati, despite the  Allied Military Governor try in every way to avoid them. In his place is appointed the lawyer Renato Ramaccioni of the Liberal Party, first president of the CNL and former member of the Executive headed by Dr. Mariano Migliorati.

On 29 December a new council is appointed, made up of 6 members: 2 communists (Dante Baldelli and Giuseppe Rondoni), 2 socialists (Tramaglino Cerrini and Virgilio Occhirossi) and 2 who declare themselves "belonging to no party" (Francesco Martinelli and Lodovico Conte Ranieri).

Count Ludovico Ranieri will attend only  at this first meeting, then he will always be absent. It is therefore to be assumed that his represents an appointment "of convenience", perhaps to satisfy the upper middle class of Umberto and to balance, at least in part, the total absence of the Christian Democrats.

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Reproduction of the original document
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Dr. Mariano Migliorati
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Giuseppe Migliorati
1945 -  The Municipal Administration ... between hopes and disappointments

On January 18, 1945 the administrative activity resumed; but it seems to be proceeding a little slowly or, at least, no longer in spirit with that boost of enthusiasm that characterized the previous Council led by Migliorati.

Identifying the exact reasons for this slowdown is not easy, because the documentation is really scarce. Based on the correspondence that the Municipality has with the CLN and with the various local committees, we can first of all deduce that it is in enormous financial difficulties, which do not allow it to intervene effectively on the disastrous social economic reality.

Add to this that the work of the Municipal Administration, with the passing of days, falls more and more under the control of the higher bodies (of the Prefecture in particular). In fact, they give precise directives and perhaps impose specific expenditure items, which not only leave the concrete and daily needs of a large part of the population unsatisfied, but also exacerbate the already ill-concealed contrasts between the new council and the CNL.

The Municipal Administration thus finds itself acting in an atmosphere that is anything but serene. On the one hand, the directives of a state that is gradually reorganizing its bureaucratic apparatus: on the other, the pressure of local committees, determined to resolve certain situations in a more radical way.

Despite these difficulties of the path, the council still manages to take some commendable initiatives.

For example, the Bursar Office is created, which is part of the Accounting section, which is assigned, among other tasks, those of providing for the transport of destitute citizens due to war and the payment of subsidies to the poor.

A new commission is appointed for the first degree decision of appeals against municipal taxes, with Dr. Mariano Migliorati as president: it is hoped that the head physician of the hospital, whom everyone esteems for his professionalism and honesty, can somehow avoid the avalanche of protests that reach the municipal offices.

However, it has just solved this "problem", and already the Ramaccioni council is still called upon to deal with the serious housing problem. Unfortunately, the number of homeless people is still significant, as renovations are proceeding slowly. On the other hand, property owners are in no hurry to speed up the restoration work on housing, which may then be forced to rent to ridiculous hormones ...

A Committee for Building Repairs was then formed, chaired by the engineer Dante Pannacci, with the surveyor Giuseppe Migliorati representing the homeless and the engineer Giovita Scagnetti as the representative of the homeowners. Even the welfare and social security conditions of agricultural workers (who have resumed work in the countryside) leave much to be desired, so a Commission is appointed to carry out investigations on the matter.

However, despite not standing idle, the Municipal Administration is unable to mend a peaceful relationship with the CLN. And this must create a lot of difficulties for them in action, because at the beginning of April the Mayor communicates to CLN. of having resigned in the hands of the Prefect, who however rejected them.

It seems evident that this is a shrewd move by Ramaccioni, to mean that he does not want to remain in office ... in spite of the saints. On the other hand, it can also be a precise signal of willingness to re-establish good relations with the CLN

Astorre Bellarosa is appointed Mayor of Umbertide

The situation remains, however, what it is. And then on April 26, citing work reasons, Ramaccioni goes to Rome, after having delegated the senior councilor Giuseppe Rondoni to replace him. But Rondoni is a representative of the PCI and the delegation is not approved by the Prefect, who the following day sends one of his Commissioners to Umbertide to take over the management of the Municipality. It is clear that we do not want to leave the administration in the hands of a council chaired by a communist, moreover very close (due to ideological and friendly ties), to some men of the CLN

In truth G. Rondoni is a man of great moral depth, which he has always put before

the interests of the community to those of the party and, above all, to yours. But how

always happens, these qualities will be recognized only after death ...

Meanwhile, from Rome, the lawyer Ramaccioni insists that his own be accepted

resignation and the Prefect can only acknowledge it, granting the authorization for

a new appointment. Perhaps the CLN would like to re-propose the Rondoni, but the opportunity

suggests not to ... force your hand. We then try to find a person who results

appreciated by all: CLN, population, Governor and Prefect. The choice falls on

communist Astorre Bellarosa , a self-taught craftsman, a man of vast experience

human and, above all, of great balance. His appointment bears the date of

May 6, 1945. The new council takes office on May 24 instead. It is largely

formed by communists and socialists: Astorre Bellarosa, Giuseppe Rondoni, Vincenzo

Rondoni, Renato Martinelli and Pasquale Ceccarelli of the PCI; Dino Bernacchi ed

Arnaldo Zurli of the PSI, Guido Guidi of the DC

Despite good intentions, it too can certainly not work miracles in coping

and solve the problems that always remain the same; but on the other hand, you can ask

sacrifices to the population because they have a broad consensus and great trust.

The financial crisis forces, in fact, to take painful measures: the most rigorous parsimonies are required in the disbursement of expenses and the revision of all services so that they can function with the minimum staff. Here the Technical Office is forced to fire an employee and all permanent workers (carpenters, blacksmiths, bricklayers ...), in addition to reducing the number of roadmen.

A reconstruction plan is underway

In the meantime, the council activates a rational and concrete reconstruction plan, entrusting its realization to the same Technical Office, assisted by a new Building Commission and by all the engineers, surveyors, artists and professionals of the capital. The Reconstruction and Expansion Plan was approved in the session of 21 July.

Furthermore, since the Prefecture has not yet done so, with a subscription from all citizens, forty thousand lire is collected to be used for the clearing of the rubble that obstruct the main square 1 and the adjacent streets.

As the Migliorati had done, the Mayor Bellarosa also urges the Prefecture to take measures for the accommodation of the schools, which will absolutely have to start functioning again.

In this regard, a resolution of the Executive which gives a favorable opinion to the establishment of a "balanced" high school assumes considerable significance.

A few months earlier, the National Education Association “A. Vespucci ”had proposed to open a first class of scientific high school in Umbertide. The proposal seemed tempting, but the Municipal Administration could not have committed itself financially. Therefore, some private individuals who had declared their willingness to give the necessary contribution had moved.

And so, in the session of 30 August, the Mayor informs that this will not constitute a burden for the Municipality, since the population has offered to cover the commitment of twenty-four thousand lire per year. The Executive therefore gives a favorable opinion. The Lyceum, however, will only begin to operate in 1946.

In September, discussions are held on the proposed tax relief for the construction of new buildings. Emphasis is placed on the urgent need to encourage by all means the initiatives aimed at building new residential homes, not only to meet the numerous families still affected, but also to deal, in some way, with the phenomenon of unemployment which, in given the winter, it risks aggravating Umbertide's already precarious economic situation.

It is therefore decided to grant total exemption from the consumption tax of all building materials to all those who will start the works by 1945, in order to complete them as soon as possible. Only objectively demonstrable delays will be allowed. The buildings completed promptly will enjoy, for a period of five years, exemption from the municipal tax.

This is a resolution that will prove to be of fundamental importance for the rebirth of Umbertide.

Also in September, the Mayor - applying a legislative decree Lieutenancy of 8.3.1945 - initiates the constitution of a Tax Council, an elected body, which has the task of supporting the work of the financial offices for a wide and equalized tax action.

At the end of 1945, when we go to make the final balances, we realize that the deficit increases. And then the municipal administration is forced to take another rather "unpopular" decision, but inevitably dictated by the need to give breath to an increasingly asphyxiated budget: it restores the sale of the popular buildings located in via XX Settembre, whose auction it had been interrupted in 1925. These houses are, in this period, inhabited by disastrous families who pay, when they can ..., a purely symbolic rent. This constitutes a huge loss for the municipal administration.

Yet, despite the year ending with the further request for sacrifices, and above all for the most destitute population, we must affirm that the Bellarosa administration has marked a decidedly positive step in the difficult path of reconstruction.

And it did so, in particular, on the level of "moral" reconstruction, always working with great honesty and transparency, involving citizens as much as possible who, made responsible for a participation that has been forgotten for years, show themselves willing, at least to a large extent, to face sacrifices with the awareness of making them for a better tomorrow.

1 . On 5 July, on the proposal of the CNL, the square was named after Giacomo Matteotti, martyr for democracy.

 
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Astorre Bellarosa
 

1946 -  We return to democratic participation. The first electoral consultations

In the first months of the new year the activity of the Municipal Administration is almost totally dedicated to the preparation of the upcoming electoral deadlines (1), which fall into a scenario made dramatic by the serious economic and social difficulties in which the Municipality of Umbertide is struggling, and for whose resolution it always continues to operate. 

We cite, for example, its effective contribution in favor of the unemployed, with the creation of a Committee for Winter Assistance; the establishment of a Board of Directors of the Civic Hospital ; the establishment of a Public Transport Service between Umbertide and Perugia; the formation of a new committee for the reconstruction of Umbertide (the post-war Committee ).

But the desire to successfully carry out that revolution for freedom, which was born with the partisan struggles, and which was about to be sanctioned by a free democratic choice in front of the polls, gives such great enthusiasm that, often  even the serious contingent problems take a back seat. ​

The administrative elections

The administrative electoral consultation, which will take place on April 7, finds only three parties well organized in the Umbrian territory: the Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the Christian Democrats.

The dispute, however, will not be three; in fact, in November 1945 the local sections of the PCI and the PSI stipulated a pact of union, which leads them to appear under a single list (2)

It is therefore a direct confrontation which, implying unequivocally bringing to light the inevitable political and ideological diversifications, certainly upsets the image of loyal collaboration offered up to now by the parties. Obviously, this does not mean that until that moment there had been a total absence of contrasts. But the common anti-fascist and republican impulse managed, at least in most of the occasions of dispute, not to unleash bitter ideological diatribes, both within the Giunta and in the ranks of the CNL 

The election campaign is largely left to improvisation and volunteering.

More passionate, but also more concrete and incisive appears that of the Social Communists, conducted extensively by various activists who beat the entire municipal territory inch by inch, sometimes even going even further (3).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have significant testimony of one of these electoral interventions in two articles which appeared respectively in the socialist weekly "La Rivenditazione" (distributed in the Upper Tiber area) and in "Il Socialista", a periodical of the PSI of Perugia. There is news of a propaganda trip by the Umbertidesi social-communists in the hamlet of Preggio, still considered very linked to fascism. In turn, Communists and Socialists speak. The intervention of a comrade from the section of the PCI of Montecastelli is also mentioned.

​ Apparently more cautious and less striking, but no less intense, appears the activity of the Christian Democracies, which for the most part entrusts its electoral campaign to the collaboration of parish priests, who try to persuade especially women, easier to fall into feelings of guilt, when they are faced with the risk of not being able to enter church anymore or, even, that of excommunication (4).

It is the text of a Pastoral that, under the direction of the Bishop, parish priests will have to read during a Sunday Mass at the end of January and which, almost certainly, contains accusations against communism and socialism.

I have not been able to find the text of the Pastoral, but we have found an article in "The Vindication" of 2.2.46, in which a severe criticism is made not so much of its content (which the writer admits he does not know), as of the the way it was read and explained to the faithful.

​ Even if the article is reproduced in its entirety at the foot of this chapter, it is worth highlighting some passages: "... we cannot fail to note the sectarian spirit ... of some canonical commentator, who ... felt entitled to also promulgate otherworldly penalties for who has not followed the dictates of the pastoral care in question ... ", and again" ... The scandal aroused ... demonstrates how inappropriate is the propaganda, clearly political, made in church in favor of a single party ... "and continues" ... the clergy is clearly conservative and carries out this intimidating campaign on souls to be able to continue to be the main pillar of reaction and capitalism “.

​ For the sake of truth, however, there is an obligation to point out that not all priests are so diligent in propaganda. For example, Mancini and Palazzetti remember very well that some parish priests of the Umbertidese countryside disregard the directives of the Curia and do not read the letter in question on that Sunday.

The two social-communist-inspired newspapers published and distributed in the Upper Tiber Valley (the aforementioned "The Claim"  and the communist weekly "Voce Proletaria"), give ample space to the chronicle of the Città di Castello district, but only very rarely do they speak of what happens in Umbertide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the contrary, the religious fortnightly "Voce Cattolica", and the Christian Democrat fortnightly "Libertà",  they are felt on more than one occasion.

​ In the issue of February 23, 1946, "Libertà" addresses for the first time the issue of administrative elections in the Municipality of Umbertide, speaking of great electoral expectations within the Christian Democrats, which responded to the Social-Communist alliance by expanding the list of own candidates to some independents. 

In truth, rather than real "independents" they are representatives of those parties (such as the PLI) that do not show up for the elections: this, obviously, in an attempt to collect the vote of the sympathizers of the aforementioned parties. It is also specified that the Christian Democratic party will present itself with its own distinct character, which however does not mean renouncing to collaborate for the interest of the people. 

This, expressed, declaration to "collaboration" (even if it cannot be excluded that it is dictated by true availability), appears perhaps more realistically to be interpreted as "putting your hands forward". The Umbertidesi Christian Democrats, in fact, are well aware that they are leaving at a disadvantage compared to the "left"; and then they do not want to ensnare themselves in sterile as well as irritating positions of clear split with the direct competitors.

The same article ends by expressing doubts about the merger between PCI and PSI which, apparently dictated by unity of purpose and concord, actually constitutes a sort of forcing that has left several candidates unhappy who, in addition to being opposed to some points of the program, ... aimed at individual affirmation. 

Another workhorse of Christian Democratic propaganda is represented by the letter with which Dr. Stefano Codovini (who was, albeit for a very short period, in the Board of the CNL), justifies his resignation from the Communist Party, within which he performed the functions of orator and propagandist.

The religious fortnightly "Voce Cattolica", published on March 30, 1946, gives great prominence to this story, in an article entitled "PCI in crisis?" , which begins by announcing, very subtly, that Codivini resigned because he became a Catholic.

In truth, Codivini's training and education were already clearly Catholic and his adherence to the ranks of the PCI, probably due to a certain influence of his uncle Riego, had never been too convinced. But the opportunity is too tempting to pass up, and so the article ends by quoting the words of the "former communist" verbatim.  Scrolling through a few passages, we note that it is a real "j'accuse" against Marxist ideology:

"Since Communism is a materialist philosophy, it does not recognize God or religion ... The leaders of Communism have always contested religion, thus resulting in atheists and materialists ... Today the PCI also includes Catholics in its ranks but it is all temporary and utilitarian tactics ... Therefore the Catholic who resides in this party is a Catholic who does his utmost to create a society from which he will be repudiated. "

The story of the parish priest of nearby Montone also becomes a reason for electoral controversy.

"Voce Proletaria" of 23 March 1946, publishes the news of the arrest of the priest, accused of having stolen eleven quintals of wheat, not giving them to the people's granaries. But on March 31, "Voce Cattolica" takes care to announce that the Court has amply demonstrated that this is a misunderstanding, and does not miss the opportunity to stigmatize the behavior of those who exploited the episode to widely defame the parish priest in propaganda speeches. .

Quite interesting, to savor the atmosphere in which the electoral campaign takes place, is also the elzeviro that "Libertà" publishes just one day before the elections (ie April 6, 1946), entitled "... Under the heading ... to these cheerful comrades … ”And formed under the pseudonym of“ the one who laughs ”.

Surely reference is made to the fact that during the electoral campaign often the speakers of the DC were so disputed and disturbed that they could not carry out the rally. I think it is worth reporting the article, written with a very particular irony and, in the last line, even a little ... hermetic:

“In a low voice because otherwise they would go down with the shotgun. You are (you of the areas where our representatives have spoken) of the jokers: keep your friends happy, when it is the turn of the DC exponent, you retreat neatly on the trees or on the walls and start screaming and whistling. Then "authoritative" voices tell us that they are only irresponsible elements and that the necessary measures will be taken (many of these irresponsible ...). But we did not want to reproach you, dear comrades who are so happy: we just wanted to ask you, after having made the image of the haystack dog barking from afar flash before your eyes, if Mrs. Democracy is always prosperous and fat as we wish ".

The programs of the two electoral sides

In short, the debate involving the two sides is quite lively and, at times, even bitter. But we must also recognize that the administrative nature of these first elections ultimately also favored a constructive exchange of views and proposals on the issues of urban reconstruction, the reorganization of social and, indeed, administrative life. To confirm this, it is sufficient to make a comparison of the electoral program of the Social Communists and that of the Christian Democrats.

The program of the PCI and PSI (which consists of 10 points), is reported by "Voce Proletaria" on 13.3.1946.

That of the DC (summarized in 11 points), is instead published by "Libertà" on 30.3.1946.

Well, 8 points are almost identical:

  1. Immediate and energetic arrangement of the finances and technical-administrative offices of the municipality;

  2. Drafting of a new master plan and construction of public housing;

  3. Scrupulous observance of the law that obliges landowners to renovate farmhouses in need of interventions,

  4. Rapid reactivation of the railway and of communications with neighboring areas;

  5. Improvement of Health, with particular regard to the accommodation and strengthening of the Civic Hospital;

  6. Industrial expansion and development, involving public and private companies, to give "bread and work";

  7. Arrangement of the aqueduct, in the capital and in the hamlets;

  8. Interventions in favor of the school: fight illiteracy; give impetus to kindergartens; build school buildings in the hamlets; establish recreation centers; start the teaching activity of the Scientific High School.

Of the remaining three points of the DC program, two refer respectively to the strengthening of agriculture and the necessary accommodation of veterans.

The first point, on the other hand, is of a more purely political nature. Freedom and autonomy of the Municipality are hoped for within the national framework, together with a direct participation of citizens in the life of Umbertide, perhaps resorting to a referendum, if the case so requires.

​ How to interpret? It can be assumed that the Umbertidesi Christian Democrats truly fear, on the national level, an overwhelming victory of the left, with consequent repercussions on the local administrations which would be totally in the hands of the Social Communists. Or it is a question of a preliminary ruling, to instill fear and doubts in the voters. As if to say: be careful who you vote for, because you could find yourself, even in Umbertide, under the Communist "dictatorship" ...

The two points of the social-communist program speak in turn of greater tax justice (through income assessment) and heliotherapy colonies for children.

Therefore, the basic theme on which the analyzes of the parties converge (that of budgetary consolidation, the efficiency of the administrative machinery, essential socio-structural interventions), finds numerous points of contact. Furthermore, both sides share the need to take new paths, which guarantee the effective functioning and the democratic nature of primary public services.

We must also say that the fact that for the first time in Italy women are called to the polls has considerable political significance in this electoral contest. It is about the achievement of a “truly” universal suffrage, a source of great satisfaction for the democratic parties, which see in this enlargement of the right to vote a new and decisive step towards those goals of equality and justice advocated in every electoral rally.

We said before that in this period the Municipal Administration of Umbertide is almost totally occupied in handling the bureaucratic process of preparation for the elections iter already begun in November 1945, with the drafting of a report concerning the compilation of the male electoral list (5) . The five reports on the state of electoral work that it must gradually send to the Prefecture make it up.

Among them, significant is that of 31.3.1946 in which it refers to having drawn up and approved the electoral list for women, including those born in 1924.

Another aspect that the Mayor Bellarosa intends to take care of with particular attention is that

public order. In a letter sent to the local CNL on 26.2.1946, he expressed the need

to convene the Party Heads, so that they undertake to guarantee order and tranquility. In this way,

in fact, not only will political maturity be shown, but a clear response to the cliques will also be given

reactionary and fascist who still try to have their say in the Italian political context.

In this context, there is no shortage of curious notes. Like when the prefect orders, with a circular

of 22.2.1946, to also mobilize the Municipal and Country Guards, in uniform and armed, and

the Mayor replies that they do not have both the uniform (they go with the armband) and

guns (removed by the fleeing Germans).

In the month of March the Municipal Commission for the cancellation of the

electoral lists of people who have held certain fascist positions. This Commission

was appointed by the Prefect with decree n. 478 of 1.3.1946 and is made up of a representative

of each party: A. Scannavini (DC), C. Palazzetti (PCI), V. Occhirossi (PSI).

After careful examination, it proposes the cancellation of a dozen people, in addition to the 16 employees

already suspended. But C. Palazzetti, President of the aforementioned Commission, reports that “… almost none

of the proposed cancellations will then become enforceable. In fact, an appeal to the Prefect for

obtain suspension and thus have the right to vote. And this will also happen for the referendum elections

on June".

On March 17, the Mayor informs the Prefecture about the regularity of the presentation of the two lists of candidates, one of which bearing the "hammer and sickle" mark and the other the "Crusader shield" mark with the word "libertas", each including 24 candidates.

​ For the record, we will say that the two lists are presented to the District Commission of Città di Castello at the same time and on the same day: 4.00 pm on 7.3.1946

On April 7, therefore, we go to the polls, and the turnout is really high: out of 9,689 registered on the electoral lists, voters are 8,258, equal to 85.21%!

The counting of the ballots takes place in an atmosphere of anxious expectation. "Voce Proletaria" of April 13 reports:

“The whole country was gathered in the main square, awaiting the results of the elections. When the speaker made known the outcome of the ballot, which sanctioned the overwhelming victory of the Social-Communist coalition (it obtained 6,283 votes against the 1,507 of the DC), an imposing procession with red flags in the front row and the fanfare to sing popular anthems walked the main streets of the town amid popular enthusiasm. Once back in the square, first the Mayor and then comrade Puletti thanked Umbertide on behalf of the party ”.

The same article speaks of a double victory for the Social Communists, who dispelled the legend of Preggio (the populous fraction with a high percentage of fascists), obtaining a clear affirmation there too.

The reaction of the Christian Democrats is not one of bitter disappointment: even if a few more votes were expected, the defeat was widely expected. We are consoled, then, with some inferences about the methods used by the Social-Communists during the electoral campaign or by trying to attribute their success to fortunate contingent facts. 

For example, "Libertà" of April 20 writes "Thinking back to the propaganda systems used to grab the vote, we believe that opponents should worry about any legitimate reactions". And, moreover: "... Social-communist victory also seconded by 3 currents, of which victory we must keep in mind the various elements that determined it" (6).

In a more general way, "Catholic voice" limits itself to acknowledging a defeat of the Catholic sense, without going into political and ideological quibbles or excuses.

Finally, it is interesting to note how Don Torquato Sergenti, many years later (in 1980) defines the victory of the left in Umbertide as "subversive", and signals it as a shock of political involution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results of the electoral elections determine, in the municipality of Umbertide, the election of 30 councilors: 15 communists, 9 socialists and 6 Christian Democrats.

It should be noted that in the PCI - PSI community list the difference between who has obtained the highest number of consents (the communist Bellarosa, 6,340) and who has had the least (the communist Corbucci, 6,256) is only 84 votes ... of the DC it was Vincenzo Goti who obtained the greatest number of preferences: 1595. 

The City Council, freely elected for the first time by a universal plebiscite, met on 28 April 1946. The outgoing Mayor Bellarosa took the floor to thank the CNL, his party, the Chamber of Labor, the Association of Farmers and Industrial. 

He underlines, therefore, how it is now difficult for Umbertide to resume life as always, after the war has tried the country so hard. Finally, he does not fail to underline the difficult economic and financial situation of the Municipality "... a situation that must be immediately taken into consideration by the new administration".

​ At the end of the speech, the councilors are invited to vote to elect the new Mayor: out of 30 present, well 29 votes (there is only one blank ballot) confirm Bellarosa in office, who then returns to warmly thank all the councilors "remembering they who will have to administer and act in the most just way possible, now that the people themselves have placed their trust in them ".

On behalf of the representatives of the DC (which the drafter of the report cites as "Popular Party ..."), the lawyer Vincenzo Gotti then asks to speak, to signify that the minority agrees to offer its collaboration to the majority, in the tough path that awaits you. However, he is keen to underline that “… such support will often take on the role of criticism, which in any case will always be an open and constructive criticism, aimed only at giving advantages and benefits to the Administration itself. The program that our party has in mind and wants to carry out ", continues Gotti," concerns the economic improvement and the moral elevation of the working classes to ensure that capitalism and workers peacefully reach out their hand ", in a spirit of true "social justice".

Perhaps Gotti, in expressing this last thought, wanted to pull some water on his mill. Let us not forget, in fact, that he is the Sole Administrator of the Autonomous Tobacco Farm, within which trade unionism is quite active ... Some councilors from the majority also intervene who, in summary, all repeat the same concepts: they speak of the exultation of the Umbertidese people, they hope that the future will be better, they hope that peace is truly the only sovereign of our times, that social justice will never fail in everyone's life.​

Once the various interventions are closed, the vote for the formation of the municipal council takes place, which sees elected: Giuseppe Rondoni and Candido Palazzetti for the PCI, Alessandro Renzini and Virgilio Occhirossi for the PSI alternate members are Vincenzo Rondoni of the PCI and Luigi Giulianelli of the PSI

The minority excluded itself, warning in advance - again through Gotti - that it will vote blank not out of opposition, but as acts of respect towards the majority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

  1. The government established in May 1945 by Ferruccio Pari was succeeded, in December of the same year, by a new government formation headed by Alcide De Gasperi. The nascent Italian democracy must now equip itself as soon as possible with its own freely elected local administrations, express itself on the institutional form of the state - whether monarchy or republic - and elaborate the new Constitution.

  2. Obviously, this does not mean that until that moment there had been no total absence of contrasts. But the common anti-fascist and republican impulse managed, at least in most of the occasions of dispute, not to trigger bitter ideological diatribes, both within the Giunta and in the CNL

  3. It is interesting to note how the most active propagandists of the PCI and the PSI  are almost all elementary teachers:  R. Mancini, U. Alunni, M. Belardinelli, A. Bernacchi, D. Bernacchi, C. Caprini, E. Maestri, C. Palazzetti, R. Puletti, F. Rometti and V. Rondoni.

  4. Here, about that  what "The Vindication" writes on 5.1.1946: "... the women of the countryside, on which Voce Cattolica is very important so that they do not give us the vote, will be able to obey or not, but even if they obeyed they would be at the side of their men and at our side for the establishment of the socialist society; the women of the city ... smile at Bianco Spino and his anathemas and stay with us even if we wear the red carnation in our buttonhole ... ".

  5. From these minutes it appears that those entitled to vote are 4,733. but after examining the position of various people with a positive criminal record or accused of fascist offenses or deceased, 104 are removed. So 4,629 male voters remain.

  6. I refer verbatim, without having any possibility of giving an explanation about the current "3" and about the "elements  various ".

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The letter from the Mayor to the local CLN
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April 28, 1946. The first democratically elected municipal council takes office
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The elections of June 2, 1946

The Referendum

The electoral consultation on the institutional form of the state (whether monarchy or republic), is undoubtedly more heartfelt than the administrative one, in consideration of the fact that the structures and foundations of the future Italian state would have been designed by the Constituent Assembly, also elected from the vote of June 2, 1946. Already after the administrative elections, and precisely on April 28, 1946, "Voce Cattolica" warns: "No one can escape the immense significance of this act, in comparison with which administrative elections represent a an event of rather modest importance ".

Therefore it is inevitable that the tones of the electoral debate will be characterized more and more in an ideological sense and that the controversy will become more intense.

Again the fortnightly "Voce Cattolica", in an article of May 26, tries to explain what unites or divides Communists, Socialists and Catholics. It recognizes that the three great Italian popular parties are equally motivated by the desire to implement the idea of human brotherhood and to improve the conditions of the poor and the workers, fighting the common battle against the capitalist system, defined as individualistic, immoral, exploiting the workers.

But on these unitary elements - the article still warns - the legitimate concern prevails that power may fall into the hands of Marxist parties that deny God, do not admit religion, do not believe in the indissolubility of the family, want to abolish private property, advocate a totalitarian state and wage a struggle that often borders on class hatred.

These, in short, are the issues on which the DC forces the socialists and the communists to confront each other who, while pressing on those of economic and social reforms, reject the accusation of being the enemies of religion.

Above all, they try to highlight how contradictory the attitude of the Christian Democrats is, as we read in an article in "Voce Proletaria": "... It is not possible today to be at the same time a party that claims to want a profound social reform ... and at the same time being the party that unleashes the struggle against the Communist Party ... if the Christian Democrats really want a social transformation, it must not fight as our party is doing because ... it would only do the interests of the enemies of the people ... ".

In short, the ideological clash takes precedence over the confrontation on concrete problems, thus widening the rift between popular-based parties.

On May 9, 1946, the Umbrian Episcopate issued a communiqué in which it recalls the grave obligation of voting and the absolute prohibition of adhering in any form to ideologies and parties condemned by the Holy See, such as those inspired by Marxism or state secularism, despite the much acclaimed respect for religion.

On 2 June, therefore, the people of Umbria return en masse to the polls (the percentage of voters is very high: 92% !!), which give an unequivocal response about the institutional form of the State: 6,840 votes for the republic, against 1541 in favor of the monarchy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political elections

As for the election of the deputies of the Constituent Assembly, this time ten parties are competing, against the three that had presented themselves to the administrative session: PCI, PSI, DC, PRI, Action Party, Movimento Naz. Ric., Monarchist Party, Everyman, National Democratic Union, Social Christian Party.

The results, compared to the elections of April 7, confirm another overwhelming victory of the left, and in particular that of the Communist Party: 4,975 votes out of the 8,898 available.

The Christian Democracy undergoes a significant decline, almost certainly due to the dispersion of votes that flowed into the smaller parties: it obtained, in fact, 1,424 consents compared to 1,507 (out of 8,256 voters) obtained in the administrative. However, it remains the second party voted and, as our current politicians would say, “all things considered, it holds up”.

The PSI, which ran alone this time, also achieved significant success with 1,225 votes. And it appears even more significant if we consider that in the nearby Città di Castello (as reported by the socialist weekly "La Vindication" of 8.6.1946), the Socialist Party obtained almost 2,000 votes.

Of the other parties, only Giannini's Man Whoever saves a little face, with 238 votes ...

The electoral results of the Municipality of Umbertide fully contradict the national ones, where the DC asserts itself as the central pivot of the Italian political system (with 32.5% of the votes), while the PCI 8 with 19%) is the third force, after the PSI (with 20.7%).

And the echo of these results must have caused a sensation in some way, because the rumor is spreading that Umbertide intends to change his name to that of Palmiria, in honor of the leader of the PCI Palmiro Togliatti.

This arouses the ire of the Mayor, who officially protests with the press, which has given credit to a news result of a sick and desperate mind ... This curious episode is reported by the socialist newspaper "L'Avanti" of 17.9.46, which informs that a few months earlier some national newspapers (such as Corriere della Sera) had published the news.

 

 
 

The National Liberation Committee ... between politics and reconstruction

The Constitution Act of the National Liberation Committee, municipal section of Umbertide, bears the date of 23 July 1944. At the meeting, held in the hearing room of the Magistrate 's Court in the Town Hall, 32 people were present. circular N.1 of the Provincial Committee of National Liberation of Perugia ... having felt the need to proceed with the constitution of a local Committee ... proceed to the conformation of this constitutive act from which the representative distinction is thus arranged ".

 

 

 

Following are the names of: Carlo Pini of the PLI; Giovanni Bambini of the DC; Zurli Arnaldo and Rometti Aspromonte of the PSL; Renato Ramaccioni of the Action Party; Puletti Ruggero and Tonanni Remigio of the PCL; no name is indicated for the Labor Democracy (1). Apparently this meeting is characterized by an atmosphere of serenity and harmony. Yet we find it strange, for example, that the Constitution Act closes with these words:

"This deed of constitution is definitive since the organization of the various parties has made it possible to elect their own representatives". This footnote (and above all that meaning of definitive) leaves room for some perplexity: definitive because the parties collaborated and proved to be in agreement?

It really seems a somewhat forced and perhaps even belated clarification, almost certainly conceived later and, that is, at the time of typing the report.

In our opinion, however, that final could represent a failed attempt to silence certain discontent and disagreements that may have arisen following that meeting. And this thesis of ours finds concrete comfort in the examination of the minutes of the first session of August 18, 1944, from which it appears that the representatives of the political parties are the following:

Liberal Party: Pini Carlo and Ramaccioni Renato

Action Party: Ramaccioni Giuseppe

Socialist Party: Zurli Arnaldo and Tonanni Remigio

Christian Democracy: Children Giovanni and Raffaele Zampa

Communist Party: Puletti Ruggero and Codovini Riego

Labor Democracy .: Bottaccioli Giuseppe and Bettoni Raffaele.

As can be seen, with respect to the names that appear in the minutes of the Constitutive Act, we have corrections and additions, which immediately question the validity of that definitive character at the bottom of the Act itself.

It should be noted, first of all, that there are two representatives for each party, with the exception of the Action Party which has only one. So Ramaccioni Giuseppe and Ramaccioni Renato found their definitive position (2); Remigio Tonanni passes from PCI to PSL; Labor Democracy is no longer an orphan of representatives; Aspromonte Rometti no longer appears (3).

Almost certainly this has happened: most of the 32 men present have no experience of those subtle "games" that characterize politics. Of course, everyone has an ideal of reference and perhaps recognizes themselves in a group, but it is realistically to assume that many of them showed up at the meeting without knowing exactly what they should have done and, above all, far from imagining. that it would be necessary to agree on a certain party or group strategy.

And here we are comforted by R. Mancini, who reports: "When those present were invited to declare which party they belonged to, some proved rather uncertain, before replying; others, on the other hand, completely confused, pointed to one, only to correct themselves at a later time. "

And so, in the course of the session, very probably few people really realize the political importance of the representative distinction within a body such as the CLN.

And it is this minority that directs the "game", without encountering any opposition at the moment.

It may also be that someone, in his heart, does not agree with what is being decided; but who feels like disturbing this first democratic meeting?

Only in the following days, when there is more time to reflect, to meet with greater tranquility and thoughtfulness, do second thoughts emerge that can even lead to some controversy. Hence, the opportunity for a comparison to reach that definitive composition of the CLN that satisfies everyone a little.

In the session of 18 August the President is also appointed (we do not know if by election or by acclamation): he is the young lawyer Renato Ramaccioni, of the Liberal Party (4). Secretary and Cashier are appointed, respectively, Ruggero Puletti of the PCI and Giovanni Bambini of the DC

The activity of the Umbertide CLN has a rather troubled start.

The difficulty of finding, within, a precise political structure, the lack of clear ideas about one's duties and, above all, the immediate establishment of a climate of conflict with other bodies (City Council, Allied Military Governor, Prefecture) , ensure that its first steps are characterized by uncertainty and contradiction.

And in fact, since the first meeting (precisely that of 18 August 1944), it is clear that the main concern of the Board is to determine a precise hierarchy of competences between the Executive and the Committee itself.

The topics on the Agenda are different (5) but the discussion is animated almost exclusively on points 2) and 3) which concern the activity of the municipal council, namely:

2) Decentralization of offices;

3) Invitation to the members of the Executive to make a report twice a week to their parties on the problems raised for consultation by the Executive.

It begins with the proposal of the PCI and the PSI regarding the need for the resolutions of the Executive to be submitted to the control of the CLN, before being disclosed.

According to the President, the proposal arises following a Circular issued by the Provincial CLN, with which the Committee is entrusted with administrative control tasks in the State as well as political administrations.

It is therefore unanimously resolved to invite the municipal council to present a weekly report on its activities, so that the local CLN Board can check and approve.

But it certainly must not be the aforementioned Circular that determines this position.

The deeper reasons are instead sought in two very specific facts: in the discontent that aroused, within the CLN, the appointment as Mayor of Giuseppe Migliorati (considered too moderate and too close to the city bourgeoisie) and, above all, in the accumulation of offices administrative documents attributed to the socialist Aspromonte Rometti, in which the Mayor places unlimited trust.

In truth, the fact that Rometti holds so many public offices may not be a novelty and at other times no one would have contested it. In fact, the man, of proven socialist faith, possesses high moral and intellectual qualities, supported by a remarkable spirit of initiative and a great capacity for organization, which involves a bit everyone. In the village he is respected and enjoys a wide charisma. He is among the animators of the Public Health Committee, is councilor in the first council led by Dr. Mariano Migliorati and actively works to the constitution of the local National Liberation Committee, which relies heavily on his contribution.

But Rometti is linked by close friendship and party faith with the surveyor Giuseppe Migliorati, who on 15 August 1944 was appointed Mayor. And almost certainly, before accepting the post from the Allied Governor, Migliorati must have snatched a promise of close collaboration from his friend.

Realizing that misunderstandings would inevitably arise between the new Mayor and the CLN, Rometti does not want to take a compromise position (ie to be part of the Giunta and the CLN at the same time), and decides to collaborate with Migliorati.

He therefore deserted the constitutive meeting of the CLN, during which a last attempt is made to make him desist from this decision: as we have seen, he is elected as a member of the Board, as if to put him in front of the fait accompli and in front of precise moral responsibilities.

But he remains firm in his position and unleashes the resentment of the Social-Communist component, which in the course of this first official meeting accuses him of accumulating offices.

However, Rometti is never explicitly mentioned. The socialist Zurli, in fact, in making a long speech about point 2) to the agenda and in stating verbatim that "there can be no sound administration when a single individual centralizes offices and prebends in himself ...", has the common sense and the foresight not to mention names (6).

But we will find out whether it is Rometti later, when the subject will be treated again, and this time with a lot of name, during the fourth meeting on September 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although nothing particular emerges from the minutes, even this first session of the CLN must have generated a bit of a storm. This is testified by the fact that the Committee, when it meets again on 26 August (7), is extended to include five other members: they are Dr. Sante Pannacci (PLI), accountant Alvaro Alberti (Democrazia del Lavoro), by Angelo Martinelli (Action Party), Reale Cecchetti (Independent) and Stefano Codovini (PCI).

And at the beginning of the aforementioned report it is said that the need was felt to have to extend the number of representatives within said governing body, provided they are of proven anti-fascist faith, seriousness and rectitude, in order to reach the formation of a more broad views and knowledge.

So why this need for expansion?

A plausible answer can be offered by the extremely conciliatory tenor of the letter that must be sent to the mayor, to delimit and define the tasks of the CLN towards the Municipal Administration, as the first point on the agenda states.

And it is also significant both that the letter is transcribed in the minutes as to avoid that, once the text is approved, there may be late second thoughts ..., and that it is precisely one of the new nominees who dictate its content: Alvaro Alberti , of Labor Democracy.

There is no doubt then that the first meeting (characterized by too much intransigence and excessive censorship towards the Giunta), not only must have aroused strong concerns in the Allied Governor's entourage, but certainly must have also caused some perplexity to the Allied Governor. inside the CLN.

This could also be confirmed by the fact that the second meeting of the Board, called on 22 August, was almost deserted. In fact, in the minutes, also without the o.d g., Only five present are indicated, who discussed the positions of some former fascists. Here then, in order to avoid the consequences of a harsh conflict with the established authorities, it was decided to expand the Board to more ... conciliatory and politically not too rigorous elements, perhaps suggested by the Military Governor or by the mayor Migliorati himself.

An attempt is made to better define the role and tasks of the CLN

We were therefore talking about the proposal presented by Alberti about the need to write a letter to the council, to delimit and define the tasks of the CLN and to ensure that the Mayor becomes a trait of union between the Liberation Committee and the Allied Governor. It is worth quoting some passages, because - as we said earlier - its content is quite significant to understand that it is an act ... remedial towards the Executive.

It is said that the CLN intends to enter into close collaboration with the Mayor, who is invited not to consider this participatory will as a form of dictatorship that the Committee would like to have over the other management bodies. Above all, the Mayor is asked to indicate where the CLN sphere of activity begins and ends.

The letter ends with these words: "The CLN aware of the serious problems that beset those who have to manage the Municipal Administration and those who have to solve the problems of unemployment and nutrition, wants to have the opportunity to submit the best solutions to the SV such problems arise ". Accepted unanimously, the text is therefore transcribed in the minutes.

But the President of the Committee, the lawyer R. Ramaccioni, perhaps believes that there has been an exaggeration, in terms of "reparation": towards the Executive, this appears to be a beautiful and good submission ...

In particular, he is not convinced that it is the Mayor who has to establish where the influence of the Committee can reach, and so he proposes that the Board should in any case contact the Allied Governor of the nearby city of Gubbio, to have him issue a declaration that define the tasks and limits of action of the Committee itself (8). The proposal is accepted.

During this session, strangely, no mention is made of the position of Aspromonte Rometti, who, moreover, must have been the casus belli for the deterioration of relations with the Mayor.

However, the question returns to the first point of the agenda of the following meeting (1 September 1944), but in a somewhat calm, albeit decisive tone. After a long discussion, it was approved to send a letter to the Mayor, drafted in the following terms: "The Committee found that Mr. Rometti Aspromonte focuses on his person the following activities: 1. President of the Hospital 2. Organizer of the Bottegone. 3. Municipal Councilor. 4. Organizer of Trade Unions. In order for the above-mentioned activities to be effectively carried out with absolute dedication and effective performance, the Committee deems it useful to decentralize them to more than one person "(9).

This is a precise request, but formulated without polemical tones and taking care not to exert any pressure ("... the Committee considers it useful ...").

A sign of renewed harmony and trust? ... Perhaps it would be better to talk about an unsuccessful attempt. In fact, the extreme conciseness of the letter should not be overlooked, in stark contrast to the redundancy of the previous one; not even the absence (controversy? ...) of President Ramaccioni escapes; and finally do not escape what is resolved in point five of the agenda of the same meeting ("Lists of people to be arrested or stopped"): no decision will be taken on the matter, until it is known what measures the Mayor has taken against Rometti (10). But, clearly, Migliorati must not take into consideration the CLN proposal, because on September 14 the Board meets again to decree, controversially, its dissolution.

It is the President who takes the floor and declares that the CLN of Umbertide "due to the futility of the work done so far, in the face of the vanity of its attempts to collaborate with the Mayor, decides to dissolve in protest towards the Provincial CLN which does not he took care of neither its emergence nor its development ".

In summary, this must have happened: once it realized that the Mayor wants to take autonomous decisions, the Umbertidese Committee turned to the provincial CLN, sure of finding concrete moral support.

But when he realized that no one was moving from Perugia, he tried to do it alone, both by using conciliatory tones towards Migliorati, and by turning to the Allied Governor of Gubbio. These attempts are also in vain, and the Committee's anger explodes, which, in our opinion rightly, takes it first and foremost with the provincial CLN.

The President therefore proposes to write a letter of protest to the CPLN of Perugia announcing the dissolution of the local Committee.

This proposal is put to the vote and unanimously accepted. The letter has an immediate effect.

Bonuccio Bonucci, former animator of the Public Health Committee, belongs to the Provincial CLN, who understands that the dissolution of the local Committee would leave the "political" control of Umbertide in the hands of the Allied Governor and representatives of the most "moderates", with the consequent marginalization of those, such as the PCI, closest to the proletariat.

He then convinces the President of the provincial CLN, Dr. Abbatini, to go with him to the town of the Upper Tiber Valley, to make immediate contacts with the most representative exponents of that Committee.

Even if we do not know the date or the place where this meeting takes place, it is clear that it still gives positive results.

Bonucci and Abbatini must undoubtedly carry out an excellent mediating action, both by calling the men of the Umbertidese Committee to a behavior of greater availability towards the Municipal Administration, and by obtaining, from the Mayor, assurance to a greater openness towards the advice given by the CLN and, in particular, towards a rapid solution of the Rometti case (11).

But the mediation of the CPLN, while effective, is not painless.

The Board of the CLN yes  renews and enters into force the Statute

Giuseppe Ramaccioni (Action Party), notary Raffaele Zampa (DC), Riego and Stefano Codovini (PCI) and Giuseppe Bottaccioli (Labor Democrats) leave the Board. Enter, instead, Astorre Bellarosa and Rondoni Giuseppe of the PCI, Benvenuto Mastriforti and Valerio Gennari of the PSI

In short, the Action Party disappears, while the DC and Labor Democracy reduce representativeness to a single member; for its part, the PLI increases it to three, as does the representativeness of PCI and PSL

A reshuffle, therefore, all in favor of the left and the PLI, which is the party of the President.

And so the subsequent meeting on 25 September opens with a speech by the lawyer Ramaccioni who welcomes the new members, who have come to give their contribution to the renewed Committee, which proposes to collaborate with the Mayor and to put the better solutions that will be proposed to solve the problems that weigh on those who have to manage the Municipal Administration in a spirit of absolute harmony.

Hearing Ramaccioni speaking in these terms is somewhat surprising ...

A truly participatory speech? We harbor our doubts and we lean towards a speech of convenience, dictated by the need for compromise.

In fact, we said that the Mayor must have given his assent to the renewal of the party representatives in the Committee and must have "settled" the Rometti case. However, he asked, in return, for an officer promised not to contest the decisions of the Executive.

However, there must be good intentions, because the Statute that will regulate the life of Umbertide's CNL is transcribed from good memory and for the good of everyone.

Almost certainly it was the President of the Provincial Committee, on the occasion of his visit to Umbertide, who brought a standard statute into view, to clarify the ideas to the men of the CLN club. Let us mention the most significant passages (12).

For example, in points a) and b) of article 1 concerning the Attributions and Functions of the Local Committee for National Liberation we read:

a) "The Committee has the purpose of coordinating and unifying the action of the various political parties represented in it, in order to ensure a union of all the active forces of the Municipality, for the destruction of Nazi-Fascism, and for the national reconstruction ".

b) "The Committee must get in touch with the Allied authorities of the Municipality, ensuring them the most complete collaboration ...".

There is therefore no question of control to be exercised over local administrations, but of coordination and collaboration. Point a) of article 2, concerning the composition of the Committee, also seems to be of considerable importance: "The Committee must be composed of the representatives of traditionally anti-fascist parties, which are represented in the current national democratic government, namely: Liberal Party, Democracy del Lavoro, Christian Democracy, Action Party, Communist Party, Socialist Party ".

We conclude by recalling point a) of article 6, which states about the rights and duties of the members: "In all cases in which a vote is required, each representative has the right to cast his or her vote, regardless of how much possible from Party interests and conforming to the needs of the present moment, which require serenity of conscience and objective cooperation ". Despite some inevitable contrasts (13), concord and collaboration between the Executive and the Committee seem to hold, at least for some time.

This is borne out, for example, by the fact that the Mayor willingly accepts to participate, on October 27, 1944, in a session of the CLN in which the appointment of the Judge Conciliator and his deputy is discussed. This appointment is the responsibility of the Mayor, but the Committee intends to propose names of his choice, among which the Migliorati should choose.

And the Mayor entrusts the task to the accountant Francesco Martinelli, who is one of the men proposed by the CLN

But then, almost suddenly, the situation precipitates with a series of events that it is rather difficult for us to mend in their exactness, but which we will try to analyze anyway.

The CLN protests with the Prefect for the interventions promised and never carried out

On November 4, 1944, the CLN wrote a letter of vibrant protest to the Prefect of Perugia (and PC to the Mayor of Umbertide) to try to hasten at least some of those interventions that were always promised and never kept (14).

After a brief presentation of the situation, the letter immediately takes on highly polemical tones. There is talk of the population that with the arrival of the Allies hoped to have something, but that instead, disappointed, protest both against the city authorities and against the superior provincial authorities. He is also bitterly ironized on the fact that, while the various posters and circulars concerning the blocking of foodstuffs or the payment of taxes arrive regularly (indeed, sometimes well in advance ...), aid instead always struggles to find the way to Umbertide, where it has not yet been found a room that can serve as a warehouse for the storage of foodstuffs.

It is also requested that electricity be restored and the example of Norcia is cited, whose public streets are illuminated. In fact, it seems almost a joke that the electricity has been reactivated in a village closed in the mountains, difficult to reach even in normal situations, while a town still remains in the dark just thirty kilometers from Perugia ...

And yet - the letter warns - all these inconveniences are well known, because various commissions and authoritative people often come to Umbertide. "On the contrary, last Sunday, Mr. Bonucci, in a meeting of the COS on the discussion of city problems, listened to the requests and protests in the hands of the population and promised to be the spokesperson for your Excellency. The days have passed and already a certain skepticism hangs ".

So, after having just mentioned the flood of the Tiber, the writing ends with these words: "How is it possible not to understand? And if it has been understood, why not take the necessary measures? of the population, hopes and demands a prompt and energetic intervention (15) ".

Reading between the lines, it is clear that the criticisms are also directed at the municipal administration, accused, in particular, of not having been able to obtain even the most immediate measures, while for example Gubbio and Città di Castello have already enjoyed many help, although their situation is, in some ways, less disastrous than that of Umbertide.

But it will be precisely this pointing the finger at the Giunta del Migliorati that causes a sort of fracture within the Committee. It can be deduced from the fact that, strangely, it is not Ramaccioni who signs the letter as president of the CLN, but the socialist Valerio Gennari, whose name, in the minutes of the sessions, appears for the first time in a meeting on November 5. In short, the letter bears the date of November 4, but it is certainly ratified the following day, during a meeting whose process gives rise to some perplexity.

In fact, the minutes begin by warning that, since there is no majority, the agenda cannot be discussed (which in any case is not specified). Then these words are deleted and the session proceeds, but only to examine some trade licenses. Ramaccioni, mind you, is present.

The Committee meets again three days later, that is on 8 November; but the minutes are not drawn up: only the names of the very few present are transcribed, including both Ramaccioni and Gennari.

From this moment, and until the middle of December, the few resolutions that we have managed to trace all bear the signature of Gennari; only once does that of Ramaccioni reappear and, coincidentally, at the bottom of an act that cancels a previous purge measure signed by Gennari ...

Meanwhile, the Mayor Migliorati suddenly resigns in the hands of the Allied Governor. And everything would lead us to suppose that this decision too must be linked to the Committee's moment of crisis.

But what happened? The not conspicuous documents in our possession (little comforted by the oral testimonies, rather confused and contradictory), do not allow us to give precise outlines to this story, also forcing us to formulate only one probable hypothesis, which in truth could also prove to be risky, but which it is necessary to "marry".

Let us propose it, therefore, with the help of documented events.

After the misunderstandings of the first moments, we have seen that a good relationship of collaboration has been created between CLN and the Mayor, with a consequent rediscovered personal understanding between Migliorati and Ramaccioni: an understanding that is certainly not frowned upon by the Communist component of the Committee which he believes he can identify, in the good relationship between the two bourgeois-moderates, a sort of compromise to keep the progressive forces on the sidelines of Umbertide's administrative life.

After all, Mancini and Palazzetti themselves report that even if every attempt at protest had been silenced for reasons of expediency, it must mean that the men of the PCI and the most extremist wing of the PSI had never shared, in their hearts , nor the appointment of G. Migliorati as Mayor, nor that of R. Ramaccioni as President of the CLN.

Therefore, within the CLN the balance is rather precarious and it is sufficient that the decision to send the aforementioned letter of protest to the Prefecture (whose context reveals explicit criticisms of the municipal administration), to cause disagreements between the President (who sees in this resolution a will to "overlap" the Municipal Administration) and some of the members.

The Mayor understands that Ramaccioni is about to lose the consent and control of the Committee and that, consequently, the Executive will now find itself more exposed to the attacks and requests of the CLN

He then tries a maneuver of force, giving his resignation and causing an administrative crisis, from which he believes he can only get out by giving more power to the council itself. Obviously everything depends on the Allied Military Governor who, in the design of the Migliorati, should reject his resignation. However, the Committee senses this strategy and sends a letter to the Military Governor, in which it means that according to Italian democratic traditions it would be incompatible to reconfirm the Mayor who requests his will to be resigned. The letter, signed by Gennari, is dated November 9, 1944 and is also sent to the Mayor for information.

And in another letter (also dated 9 November 1944 and also signed by Gennari), the CLN presents to the Governor a list of seven names of people who reflect the popular will, as they are chosen by a Committee composed of 6 parties democratic politicians who collaborate in the Italian reconstruction.

If they are approved, the same in the first meeting will elect the person of the Mayor by majority vote. In drawing up the list, the Committee, very shrewdly, proposes only two members of the PCI, moreover recognized by all as rather moderate elements: Giuseppe Rondoni and Astorre Bellarosa.

He therefore indicates four people who are not members of any party: Antonio Beatini (of the Mazzinian faith, as he used to say), the engineer Giorgio Rappini (close to the DC), the Marquis Ugo Patrizi (of liberal extraction) and the accountant Francesco Martinelli, formerly appointed Conciliator Judge (who declares himself, simply, of no party).

The only name that is somewhat perplexing is the one at the head of the list: it is Aspromonte Rometti, the former municipal councilor, already a casus belli of strong contrasts between CLN and the Mayor.

Why now does the Committee "candid" him even to the Mayor, while just a month before he was bitterly opposed?

There is only one plausible explanation: his name represents a sort of guarantee towards the Military Governor, who knows and esteems him. And it is also to be believed that Rometti was not even consulted, but that CLN made his name "motu proprio".

But the Governor totally disregards the indications of the Committee and proposes the engineer Giovita Scagnetti, a professional who has always shown himself willing to collaborate with the Municipal Administration.

Scagnetti, however, cannot be liked by the CLN, because, although he is not a member of any party, he has never shown sympathy for the movements of the left; indeed, in the disputes between tenants and owners, it has in fact always sponsored the latter.

Then, with a letter dated November 22, Gennari informs the Governor that he is against the appointment of Scagnetti and invites him to read the list of candidates already proposed with the letter of November 9, which are the true expression of the will of the Committee.

This communication convinces the Governor to give up the Scagnetti, but not to please the CLN

So, pending a better solution, he invites the Migliorati to remain in office.

It is to be assumed that at this point a whole series of informal discussions and meetings begin to find, in fact, a solution to the stalemate that has arisen.

And towards the middle of December the twist occurs: Migliorati definitively resigns and in his place the Military Governor appoints the lawyer Renato Ramaccioni. Yes, it is the former President of CLN But, seen in the light of the hypotheses we had formulated, his appointment should not surprise too much ...

On 29 December 1944 the new council officially took office, in which only two names appear (G. Rondoni and F. Martinelli), among those indicated by the CLN

Defeated on the political level, the Committee suddenly finds itself even without a guide. And in fact, even though Ramaccioni did not enjoy unanimous approval within the Board of Directors, it is however undeniable that his presence as a man of culture and law was of fundamental importance, especially as regards the organization and especially if we consider that the The committee was made up of many self-taught people.

An attempt is therefore made to deal with this situation by appointing Professor Dante Baldelli to the office of president; but after a few days he is forced, due to a serious illness, to be admitted to a clinic in Rome.

Now it is truly a crisis, for the Committee, which almost risks being dissolved. Suffice it to say that for five months (from November 1944 to April 1945), the minutes of the meetings do not bear any annotation of any session, but only many blank pages: a clear sign that the activity of the Umbertidese CLN, in this period takes place in a rather precarious way, disorganized and perhaps even with some controversy between the parties.

For example, a letter that the PSI writes to the Committee itself (it is dated January 24, 1945 and perhaps it is not the first ...), in which it is again requested to send in advance, to the Socialist Section, the orders on the day of each meeting. This, in order to be sure that the point of view expressed by our delegates on each issue corresponds perfectly to that of the ... Section.

Therefore, the letter not only testifies that the Committee, even if it has lost its President and without putting anything in the minutes, still carries out some activity; but it also confirms that not everything goes smoothly on the political level.

We can say, at this point, that for Umbertide's CLN a period characterized by a strong and disordered will to affect the moral, material and socio-political reconstruction of Umbertide comes to an end.

The enthusiasm is in fact very great, but it is almost never organized in a precise and concrete programming of interventions.

Being able to finally discuss, debate and propose one's ideas in full freedom gives that certain sense of euphoria that is badly combined with concrete and hasty work.

Even the desire to "do justice", which animates the vast majority of its members, soon finds itself entangled in the labyrinth of various skills; and we will see this more fully when we talk about purification.

The lack of precise directives by the Provincial CLN of Perugia also plays a decidedly unfavorable role, which forces the Umbertidese Committee to act, at least in these first months, completely autonomously and almost in a situation of isolation.

Agreement in the CLN between PCI,  PSI and DC

The situation returned to normalization, as we said, in the spring of 1945, with a meeting that saw only the representatives of PCI, PSI and DC

The fact that in the minutes of the session these representatives are defined as delegates, seems to mean that the new CLN Board stems from a precise will to agree between the aforementioned three parties, while no mention is made of Labor Democracy, Party of 'Action and PLI

What happened then? To formulate at least one hypothesis for an answer, it is necessary to pause in a brief digression about the reorganization of the parties in the Umbertidese territory (16).

Immediately after the liberation, only Communists, Socialists and, in part, the Christian Democrats took action to give themselves at least a minimum of organization and structure.

The PCI was already quite organized since the mid-1930s, when the clandestine cell headed by Antonio Taticchi and made up largely of men from the Republican Party operated in Umbertide.

Therefore, with the fall of fascism, it was not difficult for him to pass from clandestinity to officialdom.

We do not know the exact date on which this passage takes place, but it is assumed that already before August 1944 an Umbertidese Section of the PCL had to operate, because in that period R. Mancini and other companions constitute, in the rural hamlet of S. Benedetto , the first cell of the Communist Party, which on September 15, 1944 obtained recognition as a subsection, precisely by the Section of Umbertide (17).

The PSI (which defines itself as the Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity), constitutes its first Section on November 19, 1944, directed by an Executive Provisional Committee (and named after Giuseppe Guardabassi), which includes G. Migliorati, M. Migliorati, V. Occhirossi, G. Bartolini, A. Silvestrelli, A. Zurli and A. Renzini (18).

As for the DC, we know (especially from oral testimonies), that immediately after the Liberation G. Bambini and E. Pazzi are the animators of the Christian Democratic group, which will be constituted in Section only in the first months of 1945.

The other parties, on the other hand, seem to live only ... in the hearts and minds of their representatives, who generally participate in the political life of the city in the guise of "mavericks", that is, through completely individual interventions and initiatives, far from any strategy party.

The ideological differences between the three main camps begin to emerge

At the end of '44, while the ideological differentiations between the three main camps are taking shape more and more, the Christian Democrats begin to fear that they will soon have to compete with a compact front of the left, which for some time have been making agreements (19) .

Fear reinforced by being ousted from the new Municipal Council of Mayor Ramaccioni and by being, even within the CLN, in a clear minority (they have only one representative).

At this point all that remains is to try to coagulate, around the DC, the men of the "minor" parties, in order to rearrange, at least in part, the strong imbalance between the opposing sides. Surely this adjustment does not take place painlessly; on the contrary, it must cause a certain confusion in the Umbertidese political context, already made rather precarious by the conflict between CLN and the Municipal Administration and not even extremely secure in the social-communist alliance; it is certain, in fact, that, despite the apparent agreement, PCI and PSI live and operate in a climate of ill-concealed mistrust, above all because of a certain psychological subjection of the socialists towards the communists, judged - sometimes rightly and sometimes misinterpreting their strong will to action - a little too "overbearing." When the situation becomes really difficult, one realizes that only a "balancing" action by the Liberation Committee can remedy it (20).

But, of course, a Committee that, like the one from Umberto I, is almost in shambles cannot do it. First of all, it is necessary to put it back into its ranks and make it really efficient.

Meetings are then organized, agreements are made and in the end it is decided that the Board will be restricted to only the representatives of PCI, PSI and DC (two per party). And it is established that the President and Secretary by mutual agreement will have to choose from among the six delegates themselves.

The PSI delegates its representativeness to a young man (Mario Belardinelli) and to the now "tested" doctor Mariano Migliorati, first Mayor of Umbertide. Giovanni Bambini and Eugenio Pazzi represent the DC, while the PCI delegates Astorre Bellarosa and Aspromonte Rometti (21).

Mariano Migliorati new President of the renewed CLN

Mariano Migliorati is elected President of the renewed CLN. And here it is to be assumed that his election was "piloted" by the parties, (if not also by the leaders of the Provincial CLN of Perugia), with the aim of putting a man who had always held himself above the head of the Committee. outside the political fray: the figure of a "pure" is fundamental to regain credibility, especially towards the Governor and the Prefect (22).

At first, this does not really appear to be a move with rapid effects, because the diffidence on the part of the Prefecture is still quite evident.

Suffice it to say that on April 26 it is precisely the Prefect who rejected the suggestion of the Umbertidese Committee about the man to be designated as a temporary substitute for the Mayor Ramaccioni, and to send his Commissioner to direct the Executive.

But only a few days are enough (perhaps those necessary to obtain the necessary information from the Prefecture), to see this attitude totally changed and to ensure that the renewed Committee savors its first political success: it will be a member of the CLN, the communist Astorre Bellarosa, to be appointed successor of Ramaccioni, now firmly determined to resign definitively. To take up the new office, the  23 May 1945 Bellarosa leaves the Committee and is replaced by Riego Maccarelli.

But beyond this moral victory, which still remains of great significance, what counts is the fact that from this moment on, any ideological reason for conflict between the Municipal Administration and CLN is eliminated.

And this, comforted by the rediscovered internal equilibrium and by the good relations with the other bodies in charge, determines a radical renewal of the Committee's activity, which will truly adhere to the tasks established by its Statute: to collaborate, to suggest, to link up.

And the commitment to meet at least once a week, taken at the end of the first session, is also substantially respected: from 12 April to the end of December 1945, 31 meetings were in fact recorded.

But the frequency of the sessions is certainly not a sign of frenzy. Indeed, the examination of the Register of the aforementioned minutes (unfortunately only rarely supported by other documentation), allows us to affirm that the work of the CLN, in this period, is characterized more on a qualitative level than on a quantitative one, whether it is traits of purge, whether it be reconstruction or socio-moral initiatives.

The CLN tries to report the most pressing problems of the city

By this we mean that the Committee is no longer pervaded - as happened in the first moments - by the urge to remedy everything immediately. Now he is concerned above all with identifying and selecting the most urgent problems to submit them to the attention of the Executive or the parties or other organizations, which are responsible for any intervention in this regard.

And if his operational contribution is also necessary, he certainly does not hold back, especially when it comes to "making himself heard at the top". By way of example, we offer a brief summary of the most important initiatives (with the exception of those relating to purge), taken by CLN in the period from April 1945 to June 1946.

Since the first meeting, the "renewed" Committee feels the need to reorganize the COS (Center for Social Orientation) in Umbertide.

With a clear Marxist matrix, COS is an organism which, in its general programmatic lines, aims to promote the study of the problems that social transformation presents in the various economic, political, juridical, scientific, moral, religious and cultural aspects (23) .

And this study of general and local problems must be carried out on the basis of a concrete, independent sociality, criticized by prejudices and privileges, convinced that the transformation to be made brings with it not only economic, political, administrative, but also moral and cultural problems ( 24).

In small towns such as Umbertide, COS does not only play a role of social promotion; in particular, it takes on the task of re-aggregating citizens and making them participate in local political and administrative problems.

The population is in fact invited to periodic meetings, during which free conversations are stimulated: everyone can express their criticisms and their own proposals regarding the political and administrative organization, purification, food, market, transport, the viability, etc. The organization of the COS is strongly supported by the Provincial CLN and by the left-wing parties, because they see in them an effective tool for the "re-education" of citizens to democratic participation: which ends up transforming - albeit indirectly - into a sort of control and stimulus, with regard to Local Administrations forced to submit to the directives of the Allied Governors.

Although the documents are really scarce, it can be assumed that the COS is starting to work in Umbertide, above all thanks to the commitment of its President Riego Maccarelli.

But over time, the meetings must expire in chaotic assemblyism, because in December the CLN is still grappling with the Center which, it is said, must absolutely be reorganized.

To this end, the Secretaries of the three parties are invited to participate in a session, during which it is established that the COS meetings are directed by people who know how to keep the environment calm and correct, also inhibiting the participation of those who cannot discuss. the problems in a concrete way.

The problem of financing the COS is also examined and in the end the Secretaries of PCI, PSI and DC take on the burden. On January 5, 1946, the COS will meet on the following Sunday, with the following agenda: a) Communications from the CLN President b) Appointment of President c) Various.

From this date we have no more news about the COS

It is therefore to be assumed that, as the interest gradually waned, it ended up melting by force of inertia.

 

CLN also tackles with great commitment the question of the destroyed Umbrian Central Railway, whose reactivation would not only obviate the serious problems of traffic and transport, but would also make a major contribution to solving the equally serious problem of unemployment.

In fact, the Committee, in perfect harmony with the municipal administration, realized that it is useless to carry out reconstruction projects if Umbertide is not removed from the almost total isolation with the main roads. Here he then takes on a whole series of initiatives aimed at stimulating the competent authorities, starting with the creation of a city commission for the reactivation of the Umbrian Central Railway, on behalf of which Rometti goes to Rome for a meeting with the Minister of Transport, in order to raise awareness about the reconstruction of the railway bridge over the Tiber.

On his return, Rometti reports that, although there are great difficulties, the authorities have made a clear commitment to send technicians for a rough estimate. And actually the technicians come and evaluate. But the bureaucracy proceeds slowly and so in April 1946 the CLN still has to urge the Mayor and the party representatives to a meeting that will lay the foundations for the work to be done for the reconstruction of the railway in particular and for that of Umbertide in general.

The meeting takes place on May 4th at the CLN headquarters. In addition to the six members of the Board, the Mayor, the Secretary of the Chamber of Labor and the secretaries of PCI, PSI and DC are present

The program for the reconstruction of Umbertide

"The President exposes and illustrates the program for the reconstruction of Umbertide and says that in order to implement it as soon as possible it is necessary to start the practices with great energy, and there is also a need, on the part of everyone, of that activity that will gradually come withholding of the case ".

It is therefore decided to meet tomorrow evening, May 5, to appoint a committee, which is given the name of the Committee for the reconstruction of Umbertide.

It is made up of the president of the CLN, the Mayor, the Secretary of the Chamber of Labor and professionals from the country (25). We have not found any documents that refer specifically to this activity, but certainly we have worked in a concrete way, because in July 1946 the Minister Leone Cattani communicates to the President of the Committee - the lawyer F. Andreani - that the five expert reports of the Umbertide interesting works were approved by decree of 25 June of the Provveditorato alle OO.PP. for Lazio and Umbria.

Another focus of interest is the problem of unemployment.

In the session of 23 September 1945, following indications in a circular from the provincial section of the CLN, the Umbertidese Committee, in agreement with the Chamber of Labor and the Municipal Council, decided to convene a session to solve this problem and to draw up a program which will later be implemented.

But the implementation of this program must encounter considerable difficulties, because on December 9 we return to the subject again and the need emerges to clarify the malfunctioning of the local section of the Chamber of Labor, whose secretary is currently the socialist Agostino Bernacchi.

The problem of unemployment is also tackled with a different strategy, that is, starting from the assumption that nothing can be done without a minimum of planning, the formulation of which all the organizations and associations of the Municipality will have to contribute. And it is essential that this program stems from a precise analysis of the actual potential of the territory which, at the present moment, unfortunately is almost exclusively reduced to the agricultural sector and, to a limited extent, to the construction sector.

In this sense, a fundamental role could be played by the local Chamber of Labor, which however (at least in the opinion of the Committee) does not seem to work as it should.

At the end of the discussion, we are convinced that everything depends on the scarce collaboration of the representatives of the three parties and certainly not on the work of Bernacchi, who is busy with commendable spirit of dedication.

It was then decided to invite the Secretaries of PCI, PSI and DC to meet to establish the measures to be taken so that the local section of the Chamber of Labor can function regularly.

The issue is resumed in a subsequent session of 23 December, during which the outcome of the meeting of the three party secretaries is assessed, which took place in the presence of the Committee itself: from the discussion it emerged that the malfunctioning of the Chamber of Work is not due to the absenteeism of the political forces, but to the lack of a representative of the farmers.

The Committee immediately undertakes to write to the Agricultural Union of Città di Castello, so that it can appoint a representative.

But while waiting for the Chamber of Labor to organize itself, the CLN - at the suggestion of the Communist Party - promotes the constitution of a Winter Assistance Committee to help destitute families, who risk spending the winter in the cold, to the inability to get firewood.

Not only the parties and the municipal administration are involved in this project, but also the other local socio-political organizations: the Italian Women's Union (26), the Combatants 'Association, the Veterans' Committee and the Youth Front. (27).

A Commission made up of four representatives of the aforementioned organizations and operating under the direct control of CLN is appointed to make this Committee work. , which the municipal administration would be forced to suspend due to lack of funds, and which instead it is essential to continue, both to avoid the risk of infectious diseases (28), and for the need to provide work for those heads of families whose children already endure the cold and hunger of this harsh winter. Therefore, appealing to the sense of human and civil solidarity of those who have been better treated by fate, the wealthiest are asked to pay a contribution (29).

The initiative must have a truly satisfying answer. Suffice it to say that the landowners not only contribute their share, but also make available to unemployed workers an adequate number of days to be carried out on their property for the entire two-month period January 15 / March 15, 1946, and this in order to meet for as much as possible to those who truly suffer (30).

But, alongside these interventions that we could define as "priorities", the CLN takes on many other initiatives, equally significant and commendable.

There is an obligation to report at least some of them, proceeding in a quick chronological excursus of the Register of Minutes:

 

MINUTES No. 18, dated May 29, 1945

Since the President Migliorati will have to participate in the congress of all the CLNs of the province of Perugia, it is necessary to draw up a report illustrating the political and economic situation of Umbertide. It was decided to make contact with the Mayor, so that he could indicate which interventions should be privileged.

 

MINUTES N.24, of 29.7.1945

The CLN turns to the Finance Office to ask for an extension of war damage reports, because the population of Umbertide and nearby Montone have not received the appropriate forms.

 

MINUTES N.26, of 12.8.1945

It is decided to write a letter to the Mayor so that the permission of the dancing parties that have been taking place for some time and continue almost uninterruptedly be at least limited.

To push the CLN to formulate this proposal, it is a highly moral reason (not only because the ruins, the agony and the mourning of our Umbertide require a very different behavior on the part of everyone, but also to educate the youth to love country and to human respect), combined with reasons of a social nature (the inevitable economic and social effects that can derive from the state of affairs that are complained of have also been considered).

 

MINUTES No. 39, of 2.XII. 1945

The PCI has submitted a manifesto for approval, which the CLN authorizes to print and disseminate.

The manifesto is aimed at the citizens of Umbertide, who are invited to denounce every maneuver and every manifestation of neo-fascism, to fight alongside the mass organizations to fight ... every liberticidal attempt, from whatever side it comes and to associate with the democratic parties to overcome this very critical moment and to be able to proclaim the Italian Socialist Republic tomorrow (31).

There is also a premise, which partly explains the reasons for this appeal: ".. the neo-fascist forces organized in self-styled democratic movements and parties, try to exploit the difficult internal situation ...".

Surely the Italian Communists, in this period, had the feeling that they were trying, in the plots of national politics, to create moments of tension to prevent the affirmation of the left forces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINUTES N.49, dated 2.3.1946

The Committee considers it appropriate to invite the secretaries of the PCL, PSI and DC in order to agree on the forthcoming electoral campaign for the local elections.

 

MINUTES No. 51, of 9.3.1946

President Maccarelli exposes the behavior that every citizen should keep in view of the elections and reads a manifesto he has compiled, submitting it for approval. The manifesto is not only approved, but the representatives of the three parties invited to the meeting decide to bear the printing costs. We point out that in the course of all these months there are various replacements among the members of the Board, decided from time to time by the respective parties to which they belong (31).

There is also a rotation among the Presidents.

In replacement of M. Migliorati, on 7 July 1945 the communist Riego Maccarelli (32) was elected, who on 9 December of the same year had to resign for health reasons.

He is succeeded by prof. Giulio Briziarelli, of the PSI

Although of different cultural backgrounds (one self-taught worker, the other didactic director), both are distinguished by moral rigor and a profound sense of justice, always combined with a high respect for the individual.

And it is under the presidency of Briziarelli that, on July 17, 1946, the National Liberation Committee, section of Umbertide, will decree its dissolution.

 

 
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The deed of constitution of the CLN of Umbertide
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Manifesto of the PCI aimed at citizens
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Letters from the parties to the CLN
Resolution to dissolve the CLN
 

The purge activity

Although there are not many Umbertidesi fascists who have shown extreme bias or who are guilty of serious episodes of intolerance, there is still the risk of summary vendettas, especially in the climate that has been established on the emotional wave of barbaric episodes of Penetola and Serra Partucci.

So immediately after the liberation, the Allied Military Governor arrested 25 members of the Fascist Republican Party, who were held for a few days in the local prisons of the Rocca (35). This provision certainly appears appropriate, because it avoids the triggering of an indiscriminate "manhunt", as unfortunately easily happens in certain situations. Similar facts had already occurred in Umbertide, immediately after the declaration of armistice of 8 September 1943. We have news of it from a report sent by the CLN to the High Commissioner for the Purge in which, among other things, there is talk of the beating of a fascist during the September movement (36).

Even the Public Health Committee ensures that stupid vendettas are not perpetrated; but surely this is not enough to - prevent some unconscious acts of violence carried out against fascists by some reckless; luckily they are all resolved with a beating, without the dead man escaping.

The first official act concerning the purge is of 9 August 1944, when the newly established Municipal Council, according to the orders received by the Governor of the Allied Military Command, proceeds to purge those personnel who, due to political precedents, cannot remain in service.

There are 16 employees suspended from service and salary, all "accused" of being squadrists and / or members of the former Republican Fascist Party.

The "purged" employees present an immediate appeal to the Prefecture, which will be partially accepted.

On 9 February 1945, in fact, the Mayor Ramaccioni invites the Accounting Office to immediately arrange for the issuance of the checks due to the staff suspended for purge as per the provision issued by the Allied Military Government, following an official act of the Prefecture.

Therefore, while remaining suspended, the municipal employees will still have to receive the salary.

And the matter will drag on for several months, as we will see later.

Since August 1944 it is the local National Liberation Committee that has taken every decision regarding the investigations and sanctions to be imposed on the collaborators of Nazi-fascism, because the dead under the rubble of our country who sleep unattended, the families deprived of what they they loved more and more holy, the young people who were shot, entire families burned alive, the endless griefs of the nation want severe justice.

Let's say immediately that it will certainly not be easy to ascertain facts or misdeeds, and it will be equally difficult to dictate and keep faith with uniform criteria of judgment in the evaluation of very particular cases, also because not all those who have found compromises with the Social Republic have joined them voluntarily.

The Sforza Law on purge also contributes to increasing the difficulties which, drafted in a rather hasty manner and made known on 29 July 1944, does not always offer clear directives either as regards the methods of applying the sanctions or, above all, regarding the determination of areas of expertise.

Basically, the various peripheral National Liberation Committees should know that all the practices concerning the purge must be subjected to the careful examination of the Provincial CLN which, in turn, will forward them to the Provincial Delegation of the Adjunct High Commissioner for the purge. which is responsible for the last control act.

Instead, the Provincial Delegation of the High Commissioner for the sanctions against Fascism issued the final sentence (37).

But the actual absence of effective links between the peripheral CLNs and the provincial section means that initially this process is mostly disregarded. In truth, this situation can also constitute a reason ... of convenience for the local Committees, which thus have the possibility of taking more immediate and direct initiatives.

Even the Umbertidese Committee, in the absence of precise indications on the matter, often interprets the Sforza law in its own way and arrogates itself the right to decide on the matter and to "demand" that the Municipal Administration execute (or that private citizens put in place deed), as resolved by it.

And here, for example, after having expressed a negative opinion on some trade licenses, the CLN sends a letter to the Mayor (on 23.X.44), which ends with: "So that the above is made executive" .

Equally significant, in this sense, is the letter sent to the tenant of an office that the Committee judges to be of secondary importance. Well, he is peremptorily invited to leave the aforementioned room free for no later than 25 pv, which on 1 December will be delivered to Mrs. Gnagnetti Matilde ved. Tosti, which was left without a shop following the bombing of 25.4. 44 (38).

Even when the tone of the communication is formally more conciliatory, the intention to "force the hand" still shines through. For example, in a letter sent to the Mayor on 9.XII.44 to request the dismissal of the municipal veterinarian, even if using expressions that are anything but mandatory ("... this Committee feels the need to express to the SV the opinion that he is dismissed .... It is hoped that the SV will welcome the expression of this Committee ... "), but it is important to underline that the veterinarian does not enjoy the sympathy and trust of the majority of the population.

It is therefore not surprising that this way of operating not only risks determining, every time, a situation of conflict between CLN and the Municipal Administration (39), but also causes diatribes within the Committee itself, where most likely the line hard is opposed to soft. And this is confirmed, for example, by what happens during the first meeting (18.8.44), when we examine point 4) of the agenda: "Examination of the sales licenses and revocation of the same for fascists or philotedeschi ": it is reported that the topic provokes an animated discussion at the end of which there is a position of total disagreement, so much so that it is decided to ask the Mayor for the immediate convocation of a Commission made up of people who have an honest past and knowledge of the public ".

However, it must be said that the purification activity carried out by CLN from August 1944 to April 1945, although characterized by a decisive and sometimes ... eager desire to do justice (40), never goes beyond the law , even at the cost of swallowing bitter morsels (41).

Above all, the men of the Committee must be given credit for not giving too much credit to the "voices" in the streets or to confidential outbursts about abuses perpetrated by this or that "fascist". Citizens are invited not to limit themselves to sterile moral lynchings, but to denounce facts and people on the basis of irrefutable testimony.

A poster that appeared on the walls of Umbertide in October 1944 testifies to this desire for objectivity: in urging the population to report fascist and black market crimes, it is recommended that the reports be made with honesty and seriousness, specifying the facts (42).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objectivity, honesty and seriousness are also confirmed by the fact that sometimes the Committee returns to its decisions, following more detailed investigations. In November 1944, for example, it expressed an unfavorable opinion with regard to a request for "discrimination" (43) presented by a lady; but on 12 December the CLN re-examines the file and declares that it has ascertained that the registration of the same to the Fascist Republican Party was actually due not to factious fascist spirit, but to coercion of the authorities of the republican period and to the concern to maintain the office of typist, the only source of income for a living.

When, in April 1945, the total renewal of the Umbertide CLN took place, the purification activity slowed down.

This is most likely to be connected to the presidency of Dr. M. Migliorati, who perhaps tries in every way to avoid investigations and measures that could seriously embarrass him, above all because of his professional position as primary hospital.

In this regard, we have the testimony of C. Palazzetti: "Partly because of his willingness to help everyone, partly because some of his patients could also happen to be investigated, Dr. Migliorati really reluctantly accepted to make decisions regarding purge ".

  And most likely it will be the thankless task of purge that will determine the abandonment of the Presidency by Migliorati.

The fact that in the minutes of 7 July 1945 no explanation is given for the change to the Presidency (44), and the fact that Riego Maccarelli signs in place of the President one day before being officially elected (45), lead realistically to assume that Migliorati has left due to some internal conflict, however not explicit in any of the minutes.

But let's examine the minutes of the previous session (that of 2.7.1945): well, of all the minutes drawn up starting from April 12, 1945, strangely this is the only one not to mention the names of those present and it never appears that the President took the floor. Which suggests that the Migliorati was not present. And, coincidentally, in the course of that session the determined will to carry out a prompt and clear purge of those state and parastatal employees compromised with the past regime is manifested.

It can then be assumed that Migliorati, already not very enthusiastic about the role of President (let's not forget that he was almost certainly ... "convinced", for the already indicated reasons of credibility, to assume the Presidency of the renewed Committee) and not feeling at all at ease in that of "purifier", faced with the impossibility of avoiding certain acts which, even if suffered, are still due, put aside. Or it is possible that he is advised or ... invited to step aside (perhaps by the provincial committee), precisely because of his lack of decision-making in terms of purge.

Some might argue, much less suggestively, that Migliorati may have resigned because he is too busy in his profession as a doctor. Surely this is also a hypothesis to be taken into consideration, even if it seems strange that such a normal decision is not recorded ... The fact is that, under the Presidency of the communist Riego Maccarelli, the purification activity is characterized, compared to the previous ones. Committees, of greater scrupulousness and, above all, of more incisive rigor.

In a meeting held in July 1945, Maccarelli bluntly criticized the work of those who preceded him. Textually it states that, from a whole series of facts, "... one can deduce the lack of activity of the previous Committees, their disinterest, their little initiative, which allowed themselves to be carried away by sentimentality, thus not fulfilling the task that the population had entrusted him. But currently the CLN carries out its increasingly growing activities with justice and truth following the best democratic tradition ".

A severe criticism therefore and, at the same time, an announcement of a more serious commitment, especially as regards the purge activity, to which that "justice and truth" certainly refers.

Purpose that is maintained.

From this moment, in fact, in almost every meeting, the names of people on which to obtain information are mentioned; reports that have already been completed are approved; various applications for discrimination are evaluated or discrimination occurring without the opinion of the Committee is contested; they urge themselves to take action; attempts are made to regulate the issue of hunting licenses (46); requests for certificates of good moral and civil conduct and declarations of refusal to call to arms after 8 September 1943 are examined: all made by people who are suspected of collaborating or of common crimes.

However, every act is undertaken with care and responsibility.

In fact, Maccarelli is immediately concerned to suspend the release of documents or declarations ad personam, until the provincial CLN has given clarification on the matter. A few days later, the vice-president C. Palazzetti (who went to Perugia, to have a meeting with the lawyer Monteneri, President of the CPLN), reports that the local committees can issue certificates and personal declarations to the interested parties and finally clarifies that complaints must be forwarded to the CPLNP. which will then forward them to the competent offices.

But President Maccarelli must not be satisfied with this oral answer, because on August 17 he asks in writing, to the High Commissioner for the Purge, to be authorized to issue certificates and declarations. And he is right not to trust the unwritten words: on the 29th of the same month he receives a negative response: "In general, the National Liberation Committees have no hierarchical dependence with this Delegation ... Therefore it cannot authorize .. . to issue ... special certificates ".

The purge activity continues intensively even under the presidency of prof. Giulio Briziarelli. But as you progress through it, you realize that the results do not correspond to expectations.

Although the Provincial Delegation for the Purge calls the peripheral Committees to a greater zeal, because the pending purge judgments against the various employees must be completed which, often suspended, constitute a serious burden on the administrative budgets (47), in truth a definitive sentence never appears among the various papers.

For a certain period the Committee does not give up and continues regularly to carry out investigations and to propose names of people to be purged; then, faced with the almost total lack of results (and perhaps also because it is absorbed by the problems of reconstruction and by those of the electoral consultation), it gives less and less space, during its meetings, to purging. Only in the spring of 1946 did they try to take the situation back in hand. In the session of 19.V.46, in fact, it is said: "After a laborious discussion, this Committee establishes the following: a) to invite the Marshal of the RR: CC for the day 22 cm in order to make arrangements to be able to carefully monitor the operated by local fascist elements. b) to invite the Mayor to the same session ".

The meeting of May 22 takes place regularly, but it seems that, when it comes to the conclusions, very little is said again: it is only decided to collect, through trusted people, all the information regarding the conduct of the fascist elements of the place and of refer them to the local RRCC station which will think to act in the best possible way.

But, despite the propositions of a new commitment, only in one meeting is there still talk of purge, indicating the names of some former fascists on which to ask for information.

The law on amnesty closes the purge processes

At the beginning of July, Palmiro Togliatti, Minister of Grace and Justice of the new coalition government (set up by A. De Gasperi in those days), promulgates the law on amnesty, which determines the definitive closure of the purge processes.

The provision, even if perhaps considered appropriate in parliament, certainly cannot satisfy those who have worked so hard to try to do justice to the abuses and crimes perpetrated during the "twenty years".

In Umbertide it is above all the PSI to be indignant. This is demonstrated by the declaration that appears in "La Venda" of 28.8.46: "After the publication of the law for the purge of Togliatti, the section of the PSI of Umbertide, during the assembly held on 27.07, voted on the following order of day: "Noting the sense of bewilderment and mistrust caused by the aforementioned unjust law ... deploring the proponent of such an absurd political attitude, which could also have serious national consequences, makes a vow that firm and clear action is taken as soon as possible restorative ".

It is clear that the indignation of the Umbertian socialists is not only against the law itself, but is also directed against Togliatti, defined as the proponent of such an absurd political attitude ...

But even the men of the PCI do not agree with this provision, even if it originated from the will of their charismatic leader Togliatti.

The burning disappointment provokes (as reported by C. Palazzetti), a reaction of disappointment and mistrust especially within the CLN: "In those days there was discussion, criticism, confrontation. Although perplexed, I was among those who positively interpreted the law on amnesty. But I also understood those who, due to tragedies experienced personally, could not see so many years of suffering erased with a swipe of the sponge ... ".

And so, on July 14, 1946, the CLN of Umbertide unanimously decrees its dissolution, voting on the following agenda:

"The National Liberation Committee of Umbertide, which in its work inspired by principles of human justice already felt the mockery of the purge, joins the protest of the people against the provision of the absurd amnesty recently promulgated and, remembering the sacrifices, the tears, the infinite sufferings, the victims and the immense ruins of the Nation caused by fascism and the Nazi-fascist war, resigns his resignation '”.

 

XXXIX.jpg

Note:

 

1. See, in the Appendix, p. XX the minutes of the Constitution Act.

Those present are: Mancini Raffaele, Boldrini Nello, Polpettini Vittorio, Puletti Ruggero, Renzini Alessandro, Ramaccioni Mario, Taticchi Antonio, Nanni Ramiro, Loschi Luciano, Rondoni Vincenzo, Gennari Addo, Beatini Lamberto, Migliorati Natale, Alunni Umberto, Gennari Aspromonte, Caprini Claudio, Caprini Nazzareno, Ramaccioni Giuseppe, Rinaldi Antonio, Pini Carlo, Sonaglia Gino, Codovini Stefano, Becchetti Giuseppe, Migliorati Giuseppe, Bottaccioli Giuseppe, Silvioni Guerriero, Simonucci Raffaele, Villarini Mario, Destroyed Amedeo, Chiodini Giuseppe, Children Giovanni, Ramaccioni Renato.

 

2. And in fact it was the correction and the superimposition carried out between the two homonymous Ramaccioni that made us suspicious. Renato is initially typed, as a representative of the PLI, under the name of Pini, while Giuseppe is noted alongside the Action Party; then someone deleted Renato's name from the PLL, to write it, in pen, alongside the Action Party, to replace Giuseppe.

 

3. We will see a little later the reason for Rometti's self-exclusion.

 

4. We have already seen that Ramaccioni will subsequently be appointed Mayor of Umbertide.

 

5. To be precise, the following seven points are indicated to be addressed:

1.Replacement of fascist or pro-German personnel from state and para-state administrations.

2.Decentralization of offices.

3. Invitation to the members of the Executive to make a report twice a week to their parties.

4. Examination of sales licenses and revocation of the same for fascists or pro-Germans.

5. Establish definitively the premises for the CLN

6. To call further meetings for the global organization of the parties.

7. The need for the Committee to come into close contact with the Provincial Committee of LN and with elements of the FSS and, if this is impossible, with the R. Questura.

 

6. As regards the positions "accumulated" by Rometti, see below.

 

7. This meeting is held in the former convent of San Francesco, in the music room, which from now on will be the permanent seat of the CLN.

 

8. The fact that a Military Governor is used unrelated to the Umbertide events, while it would have been more obvious to consult the Provincial CLN, testifies that there is an almost total lack of connections between the latter and the local Committee.

 

9. See, in the Appendix, p. XXI.

 

10. In truth, we find it quite difficult to establish a relationship between people to be arrested and the "Rometti case". Perhaps it can be assumed that the Mayor, in order not to assume the inconvenient role of the purifier, tries to "download" this responsibility onto the CLN, inviting him to compile or perhaps give his approval regarding the aforementioned lists, and that the Committee, sensing this move, resort to a sort of moral blackmail by conditioning their collaboration to the decentralization of the positions accumulated by Rometti.

 

11. And in fact on the 19th of September Rometti resigned as a member of the Executive, while retaining the other offices. An explicit gesture of protest towards his friend Migliorati, who has cornered him, offering him the opportunity to give up some job? Or, more subtly, an official resignation from the position of greater political weight, but with the tacit understanding of remaining a friend-adviser to the Mayor anyway? ...

 

12. See, in the Appendix, pp. XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV.

 

13. As when, for example, in the meeting of 16 October, the CLN disputes i

rents established by the Municipal Commission, finding them unfair with wages and salaries, and therefore resolves to ask the Mayor to enlarge the aforementioned Commission, appointing, from among its members, representatives of employees and employees.

 

14. It is worth dwelling on this letter for a moment, if only to compare it with the one sent just a month and a half earlier, to the same Prefect, by the Mayor Migliorati. Both written with the same intent to obtain help, however, they are characterized by a totally different spirit and tone. Rather formal, almost "cold" the letter from the Mayor, which is limited to a list of the interventions to be carried out, supported by meager data and figures.

Warm, controversial, but no less concretely essential, in the descriptions, that of the CLN, which almost certainly decided to contact the Prefect after the overflowing of the Tiber (3 November 1944) who, adding further inconveniences to a reality that was too tried by destruction warfare, ended up exasperating the citizens of Umbertide.

 

15. See, in the Appendix, pp. XXVI and XXVII, copy of the original.

 

16. We must warn that party archives are certainly not a source of information: no one has a single document that can refer to this period. Even the newspapers of the time did not give any news. Therefore, what little we are given to know, we have obtained from the rare personal papers of some militant or from oral testimonies, which are very vague and fragmentary.

 

17. See, in the Appendix, p. XXVIII, the report drawn up that day by R. Mancini.

18. In the Appendix, p. XXIX, we report the letter with which the Provisional Committee announces the constitution of the section to CLN, indicating the names of the comrades delegated to represent the PSLU.P. within the CLN itself. We also report, on the same page, a photocopy of a PSLU.P.card, taken from the cards of A. Renzini.

 

19. Among the documents of A. Renzini we found an invitation to take part, on Thursday 23 November at the Communist headquarters located in the premises of the Teatro dei Riuniti, in the meeting called between the leaders of the two proletarian sections.

 

20. It is no coincidence that the first session of the new CLN opens with the resolution that the renewed CLN in the ranks is in fact the balancing body of the political life of the country.

 

21. How is it possible that a "historical" socialist like Rometti has passed into the ranks of the Communists? Oral testimonies tell us of disagreements with the comrades of the local section of the PSLU.P .: nothing more precise is known to us.

 

22. R. Mancini and C. Palazzetti comfort us, in this hypothesis of ours, reporting that perhaps the most suitable person (for spirit of initiative and capacity for organization), to hold the office of President is undoubtedly Rometti. But his centralizing character and his momentary ... uncomfortable political position (he had passed from the PSI to the PCL), make him prefer the Migliorati. However, it must be said that most of the activities carried out by the "renewed" CL N. will be the result of Rometti's initiative.

 

23. So it is said in a pamphlet printed and disclosed in August 1944 in Perugia,

where the Center began its activity on July 17 of the same year. See, in the Appendix p. XXX, copy of the booklet

 

24. See, in the Appendix, p. XXXI.

 

25. See, in the Appendix, pp. XXXII and XXXIII.

 

26. The invitation is signed by the new Secretary, Egino Villarini. The last three lines, almost incomprehensible, should indicate the day of the meeting (a Sunday), already agreed by the other Secretaries.

 

27. It was Mrs. Anita Zanottì Giacchi (director for many years of the Municipal Childhood Nursery), who gave life to Umbertide, the UDL, a women's movement of communist inspiration. The aforementioned was part of the Board of the CLN, which deemed necessary a female representation. But, when in September 1945 Zanotti proposes to the Mayor to appoint a representative of the UDL within the council, he receives a negative response, due to the fact that the council has deliberative power, while women have only consultative power.

 

28. We know very little about this "movement" which, by the admission of the founders themselves, is made up of independent young people, Communists, Socialists, Christian Democrats, the Cremona Club (veterans of the "Cremona" Partisan Division), the Student Union Italians. It was formed on August 16, 1945.

See, in the Appendix, p. XXXIV, photocopy of a card of the Youth Front, kindly granted by R. Codovini

 

29. We speak of "limbs of human bodies" still lying under the rubble. See, in the Appendix, p. XXXV.

 

30. It should be noted that the amount of this contribution, although voluntary, has already been established on the basis of the actual size of the capital of the various owners.

 

31. So writes (20.1.1946) the secretary of the Provincial Farmers' Association of the Umbertide area.

 

32. See, in the Appendix, p. XXXVI, the typewritten text of the manifesto.

 

33. In the Appendix, pp. XXXVII and XXXVIII, by way of example, we report a copy of three letters with which PCL, PSI and DC inform CLN that they have decided to alternate their representatives. It should be noted that none of them ever explain the reason for the replacement.

 

34. We will see, in the following Chapter, the reasons for this rotation.

 

35. A curiosity: for the administration of food to these people (233 meals in total), the Municipality supports the expense of L. 1,631.

 

36. Indeed, the "beating" did not happen as it is crudely written. In fact, it refers to an episode that occurs inside the public telephone post. Suddenly, among the people, the rumor begins to spread that a well-known fascist trade unionist has entered the premises of the TIMO. Instead he is a bank manager of the same name. But now the crowd is crowding and a true fascist, who is there, tries to block the access. Then everything subsides and the "fascist" himself can be medicated by the pharmacist.

 

37. In truth, in the various papers we have found different terms of these organs: "Office of sanctions against Fascism", "Provincial purge commission".

 

38. The letter, dated 19.X1. 1944, has the subject "Provisions".

 

39. While perhaps considering them to be correct, the Mayor could not enforce certain resolutions; in fact, he had to carry out only the measures taken by the High Commissioner for the Purge or by the Allied Military Governor.

 

40. The letter referred to in note 66 ends with these words: "This deliberate is the solution of a high sense of justice that acts with serenity, punishing the guilty to facilitate those who unjustly were the object of the disastrous consequences that ensued ".

 

41. We would like to point out that among the members of the Committee there are those who have suffered (or believe they have suffered), harassment and injustices by the fascists.

 

42. The manifesto is shown in the Appendix, p. XXXIX.

 

43. When a person is accused of a political crime (almost always it is a question of belonging to the PER or of "fascist intemperance" or of collaboration with CSR and with the Germans), he can contact the local CLN to certify that these accusations are unfounded or that the offense was committed in particular situations. If the application is successful, the applicant obtains the so-called "discrimination": the fact loses the character of a crime, precisely due to the presence of a discriminant, that is, a cause of justification.

 

44. It is simply said that "the President and the Vice President have been elected. The following are elected: President R. Maccarelli ...".

 

45. The letter sent to the Mayor on 5.7.1945 bears his signature, in which he warns that "the CLN has expressed the opinion that the main square is dedicated to G. Matteotti".

 

46. In more than one meeting, it is insisted that for the issue of such licenses any doubts must be clarified by the Committee, because "... it is within its competence to resolve and conduct in the right light those cases that are compromised with the past regime ".

We shouldn't be too surprised that CLN. gives such great importance to the control of hunting licenses: obtaining it means, in practice, having one or more rifles at hand, complete with regular firearms. And in moments of such great tension it is obvious that the Committee avoids keeping armed (albeit improperly), any fascist-hunters. And when it is realized that very little can be done about it, the Carabinieri Marshal is also invited to a meeting, who is asked to intervene to regulate these concessions. Unfortunately, the marshal is also involved in the general disorientation; he replied, in fact, that this was not within his competence and "limited himself to expressing an opinion".

 

47. This is a circular dated 13.9.1945., Which is of particular interest to Umbertide, whose Municipal Administration, as we have seen, has a long dispute with the Prefecture, due to employees suspended for a year now.

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