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Emilio Canzi. An Anarchist Partisan in Italy and Spain
Paolo Finzi and others
Article published on 30 October 2007
last modification on 1 November 2007

by ps
Emilio Canzi

Kate Sharpley Library, 2007. 50 p. ISBN-13: 978187365295

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Kate Sharpley Library is presenting an impressive collection of booklets of anarchists engaged in the antifascist movement of their respective countries. The present one on
Emilio Canzi reveals a leading figure of the Italian anarchist fighters.

Canzi enrolled at a very early stage in the Arditi del Popolo, which were working-class self defense groups in Italy. He was compelled to escape in France and later joined the Spanish revolution. He remained there longer than many others and afterwards returned to Paris. During World War II, after France was occupied by the Germans, he was arrested by the Nazi police on the 26th of October 1940 and sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He was later transferred to Italy were he was interned.

After the downfall of Mussolini and when the king Victor Emmanuel III resumed his full constitutional powers, Canzi was not freed but, like many anarchists, was sent to another concentration camp from which he escaped on the 8th of September 1943. He joined the Italian resistance, was arrested twice, once by the Italian fascists who exchanged him against other prisoners, then by the Communists, but he was set free by another partisan unit.

This booklet has collected many testimonies, including one by Paolo Finzi. The publishers have also included short biographies of all the activists mentioned in the work. Canzi’s life throws some light on the Italian anarchist combatants and also on the Italian exiles in France. Canzi was a particularly brave soldier who is still honored today as a leader of Italian resistance to dictatorship.

Ronald Creagh