Ezio Maria Gray

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Ezio Maria Gray (born 9 October 1885 in Novara, Piedmont – died 8 February 1969 in Rome) was an Italian politician and journalist.

Early years[edit]

Gray, a staunch critic of socialism, was a founder member of the Italian Nationalist Association in 1910.[1] He dropped out of politics to serve in the Italian Army during the First World War and afterwards in Dalmatia.[1]

Fascism[edit]

On his return to Italy he became a supporter of fascism and set up the Novara fascio in 1920.[1] Gray was elected to parliament for the fascists in 1921 and was appointed to the National Directorate in 1924.[1] The following year he was appointed to the Grand Council of Fascism and in 1927 he took over the editorship of the fascist journal Il Pensiero di Benito Mussolini.[2] Away from his party duties he was a leading figure in the Società Dante Alighieri, President of the Ente Autonomo della Stampa and a businessman with a reputation for shady dealings.[2]

Gray served in the army during the Second World War before returning to civilian life as a radio broadcaster. His broadcasts were especially noted for their anti-Semitic content.[3] His position grew towards the end of the Italian fascists period and on 23 July 1943 he was appointed vice-president of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations.[2] Gray continued to be an important figure in the Italian Social Republic and was appointed head of the Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche during the republic's brief existence.[4] Following the collapse of this regime he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his leading role in the fascist government.[2]

Post-war[edit]

Soon after being sent to prison however Gray was amnestied and in 1947 he launched his own journal, La Rivolta Ideale, which pressed a neo-fascist line.[2] He then edited Il Nazionale, the paper of the Italian Social Movement and became a leading figure on the hard-line tendency, supporting Giorgio Almirante in his struggles with the more moderate Arturo Michelini.[2] In the MSI he became noted for his support for seeking an accommodation with political Catholicism, seeing this as a way to rehabilitate fascism, and to this end held a number of surreptitious meeting with Azione Cattolica leader Dr. Luigi Gedda.[5] Gray returned to parliament, serving the MSI as a deputy from 1953 to 1958 and in the Senate from 1963 to 1968.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 161
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right, p. 162
  3. ^ Emilio Gentile, The Struggle for Modernity: Nationalism, Futurism, and Fascism, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p. 174
  4. ^ Luisa Quartermaine, Mussolini's Last Republic: Propaganda and Politics in the Italian Social Republic (R.S.I.) 1943-45, Intellect Books, 2000, p. 63
  5. ^ Richard A. Webster, The Cross and the Fasces: Christian Democracy and Fascism in Italy, Stanford University Press, 1960, p. 213