Sammarinese Fascist Party

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Sammarinese Fascist Party
Partito Fascista Sammarinese
Chief Giuliano Gozi
Founded 10 August 1922
Dissolved 16 November 1944
Headquarters City of San Marino
Newspaper Il Popolo Sammarinese
Ideology Italian Fascism
Politics of San Marino
Political parties
Elections

The Sammarinese Fascist Party (Italian: Partito Fascista Sammarinese) or PFS was a fascist political party that ruled San Marino from 1923 to 1943.

It was founded and led by Giuliano Gozi, a Sammarinese World War I veteran who volunteered in the Royal Italian Army, on 10 August 1922 and was modelled directly from the National Fascist Party of surrounding Italy. Gozi came from a distinguished family and was holding the posts of foreign minister (in San Marino, the foreign minister leads the cabinet) and interior minister, these two offices gave him control of the military and police. From the beginning, the party used violence and intimidation against opponents such as the Socialists. Its party newspaper was the Il Popolo Sammarinese, modelled after the Il Popolo d'Italia. In terms of policy and ideology, the party was not innovative and stuck closely to Italian Fascism. They pursued industrialization which turned a country of mostly farmers into factory workers. They did not adopt Anti-Jewish laws like Italy did in 1938 as the tiny country did not have any visible Jewish community.

In April 1923, Gozi was elected as the first Fascist Captain-Regent. After the October elections, both Captains-Regent were Fascists and would remain so in subsequent elections for the next two decades as all other political parties were banned in 1926 effectively making San Marino a single-party state. However independent politicians continued to form a majority in the Grand and General Council until 1932. In addition, the party was split between Gozi's faction and Ezio Balducci's faction forcing them to look to the Italian party for guidance and mediation.

In 1932, Balducci's faction started a rival newspaper, La Voce del Titano. The next year he was accused of plotting a coup and arrested by Italian authorities after fleeing to Rome. Balducci and other alleged conspirators were purged from the party and tried and sentenced to hard labor in 1934 by a special court but the punishment was never carried out.

The reconstructed Socialist Party began forming an anti-fascist resistance during this period. Three days after the arrest of Benito Mussolini, PFS rule in San Marino collapsed after a massive rally and the first non-fascist government in twenty years was formed. 28 July would later become a national holiday. After Mussolini's rescue and the formation of the Italian Social Republic, fascism began a resurgence. Being surrounded by the Italian Social Republic and close to the Gothic Line, the government invited fascists back as part of a national unity government and to prevent German occupation. The Republican Fascio of San Marino (Fascio Repubblicano di San Marino) was formed on 4 January 1944 by Gozi and two thousand loyal fascists. The Fascists restored the single-party state on 1 April. They were heavily modelled after the Republican Fascist Party but they kept neutrality.

The Fascists briefly arrested Communists on May Day, accusing them of planning illegal strikes. On 26 June, the Royal Air Force mistakenly[citation needed] bombed San Marino, killing 63 civilians. The Fascists declared a day of national mourning and used it in anti-Allied propaganda. On 17 September, Axis forces occupied San Marino during their retreat but were driven out in the Battle of San Marino by the Allies three days later. The Allies stayed for the next two months and ended Fascist political monopoly. Elections on 1 October threw out the Fascists and on 16 November the Republican Fascio was outlawed. Since 2,000 of the city's 15,000 citizens were banned from politics, it gave an advantage to the leftists.

In 1945, the Communist-Socialist coalition won the April elections and would remain in power until the fatti di Rovereta in 1957. They put Gozi and fifty other Fascists on trial and imprisoned them.

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