Marzocchi, Umberto, 1900-1986

Umberto Marzocchi.
Umberto Marzocchi.

A short biography of Italian anarchist shipyard worker Umberto Marzocchi who fought Mussolini's fascists in Italy, Franco's in Spain and Hitler's in France.

Submitted by Steven. on September 20, 2005

Umberto Marzocchi
Born 10 October 1900 - Florence, Italy, died 4 June 1986 - Savona, Italy

He was born in Florence on 10 October 1900. A shipyard worker in La Spezia, he became an anarchist at a very early age and by 1917 was secretary of the metalworkers’ union affiliated to the USI (Italian Syndicalist Union), thanks to his youth which precluded his being mobilised for front-line service as a reprisal.

During the “Red Biennium” he took part in the struggles alongside the renowned La Spezia anarchist, Pasquale Binazzi, the director of Il Libertario newspaper. In 1920 he was part of a gang of anarchists that attacked the La Spezia arsenal, overpowering the security guards and carrying off two machine guns and several rifles, in the, alas disappointed, hope of triggering a revolutionary uprising in the city.

In 1921, visiting Rome to reach an agreement with Argo Secondari, he took over as organiser of the militant anti-fascist Arditi del Popolo (People’s Commandos) in the region; this organisation was to give good account of itself during the “Sarzana incidents”.

Moving to Savona, he organised the meeting between leading anarchist Errico Malatesta and the pro-Bolshevik Russian anarchist Sandomirsky who arrived in Rapallo in the wake of the Chicherin delegation as its Press Officer. By 1922, wanted by the fascists, he left the country, playing an active part in the activities of the anarchist exiles in France and Belgium.

In 1936 he was in Spain fighting in the Civil War and Revolution with the Italian Column and there took part in the battle of Almudevar. After Italian anarchist Camillo Berneri was murdered by the Communists, he returned to France where he handled aid to Spanish refugees.

After the Nazi occupation, he joined the Resistance Maquis in the Pyrenees, part of a mixed unit made up of anarchists, socialists and French and Spanish communists (Group 31, Area 5).

In 1945 after the Liberation he returned to Italy where he became one of the most active publicists, speakers and lecturers of the newly formed Italian Anarchist Federation (FAI), which at that time was an umbrella for the whole of the Italian anarchist movement. In 1971 he was appointed secretary of the International of Anarchist Federations’ Liaison Committee, a post he filled for 12 years. In 1977, by then almost eighty, he was arrested in Spain during an international anarchist gathering.

He died in Savona on 4 June 1986.

Taken and heavily edited by libcom from an article in Umanita Nova 26.10.1986 by Pietro de Piero. OCRed by Linda Towlson from the pamphlet Prisoners and Partisans: Italian Anarchists in the Struggle Against Fascism published by the Kate Sharpley Library, which contains loads more information about Italian partisans. And at £2 is highly recommended.



9 years 11 months ago

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Submitted by syndicalist on August 21, 2014

I remember his name as being a significant part of IFA, but not much else. This is very informative.