Carlo Scorza

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Carlo Scorza
Scorza.jpg
Secretary of the National Fascist Party
In office
19 April 1943 – 27 July 1943
Preceded by Aldo Vidussoni
Succeeded by none
Personal details
Born 15 June 1897
Paola, Italy
Died 23 December 1988(1988-12-23) (aged 91)
Political party National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista, or PNF)
Profession Army officer
Blackshirt leader
Journalist

Carlo Scorza (15 June 1897, Paola, Province of Cosenza – 23 December 1988) was a prominent member of the National Fascist Party of Italy during World War II. He built his reputation in the Fascist paramilitary group known as the Blackshirts, and later rose to the position of party secretary, second only to Benito Mussolini in authority over the wartime Italian state. His brief and rocky tenure began in the spring of 1943 and ended with the party's collapse and abolition at the end of July.

Life[edit]

Born in the town of Paola, Scorza participated in World War I in the Bersaglieri corps where he reached the rank of Tenente (lieutenant). After the war he joined Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party and participated in acts of violence against communists and socialists in the area around Lucca. After participating in the March on Rome, he worked for a brief time as a journalist, then he was named Federale (chief provincial party officer) of the Province of Lucca.

In 1930, Scorza was appointed to direct the key Party youth organization, Gruppo Universitario Fascista.[1] The following year he was named as a member of the Direttorio (a high national body) of the National Fascist Party. He strongly opposed the Azione Cattolica and his behavior forced Mussolini to dismiss him from the Direttorio. He participated in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and the Spanish Civil War. In 1940 he came back to national political activities.

Secretary of PNF[edit]

In April 1943, Scorza was named Secretary of the National Fascist Party, replacing the ineffectual Aldo Vidussoni.[2] He remained fully dedicated to Mussolini and he assumed his office with an uncompromising demand – "Everybody and everything for the war."[3]

Despite his enthusiasm, Scorza failed in his efforts to revitalize the party. On 25 July 1943, the President of the Italian wartime Parliament, Dino Grandi, put forth to the Fascist Grand Council a motion to remove Mussolini from office. Scorza, who also held the position of Secretary of the Grand Council, voted against it, but the motion carried and Mussolini was arrested by the carabinieri. After the Italian armistice, Scorza himself was arrested in the Nazi-controlled Italian Social Republic. He was charged with treason for failing to counter the anti-Fascist coup d'etat, but he was acquitted by a special tribunal in April 1944.[4]

Later life[edit]

At the end of World War II, Scorza fled to Argentina. He was tried in absentia by the Allies and sentenced to thirty years imprisonment. He was later granted amnesty and he returned to Italy in 1955. Scorza died in Florence on 23 December 1988.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pollard, John F. (2005). The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929-32: a study in conflict. Cambridge University Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-521-02366-5. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Kitchen, Martin (1990). A World in Flames: A Short History of the Second World War in Europe and Asia, 1939–1945. New York: Longman. p. 252. ISBN 0-582-03407-8. 
  3. ^ Bosworth, R. J. B. (2007). Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945. Penguin. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-14-303856-6. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Carlo Scorza, 91, Dies; Wartime Fascist Chief". The New York Times. Reuters. 27 December 1988. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Montanelli, Indro, (2003). Storia d'Italia. Milan: Corriere della Sera. OCLC 443967091. (Italian)
  • Rastrelli, Carlo, (2010). Carlo Scorza, l'ultimo gerarca. Milan: Mursia. ISBN 9788842546054. (Italian)