|Born||1 June 1896|
|Died||22 January 1956 (aged 59)|
Ricci was born on 1 June 1896 in Carrara into working-class family. He first came to prominence as a legionary of Gabriele d'Annunzio from 1919 to 1920. He was arrested for his activities and imprisoned in Sarzana leading in 1920 to a failed attempt to 'liberate' him by fascist activists which, despite being a failure proved a propaganda success.
As ras of the fascio squad in his native town Ricci initially demonstrated the left-wing origins of fascism by supporting a 40-day strike by quarry workers in 1924. After the spell as a squad leader in Carrara, Ricci's profile rose and he eventually became head of the Opera Nazionale Balilla youth movement.
He became a member of government and served as Mussolini's Minister of Corporations. Politically he became known as one of the main Nazi sympathisers in the fascist government. Indeed, along with others of a similar persuasion such as Giovanni Preziosi and Roberto Farinacci, he had fled to Nazi Germany before Gran Sasso raid and met up with Il Duce there after Otto Skorzeny's capture of the fascist leader.
With a long-standing reputation for violence, he had established links with Heinrich Himmler through the Fascist militia before July 1943. With Nazi support, he and Alessandro Pavolini set about creating a new paramilitary gendarmerie.[page needed] He served as leader of this group, the Italian National Republican Guard, during the Italian Social Republic before it was incorporated into the regular army in 1944. Following the collapse of the Republic of Salo an Italian resistance movement tribunal discharged Ricci after deciding that his force was simply an internal police. He died on 22 January 1956 in Rome.
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- Neville, p. 200