Giustizia e LibertÓ 1937

Why Carlo Rosselli Was Assassinated


Source: Giustizia e LibertÓ, year IV, no. 25, June 18, 1937;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor.


We formally accuse Benito Mussolini of having given the order to fascist professional killers to go to France to assassinate Carlo and Nello Rosselli. The crime, in its plotting, in its execution, in the cowardly cruelty of the ambush and blows, bears all the characteristic signs of fascism’s techniques. In its sinister details, as in its origin, methods, and goal, this crime recalls and reproduces the first of fascism’s horrible crimes: the assassination of Giacomo Matteoti. The dictator carefully chose his victim: Mussolini marks with a bloody seal his opinion of the political value of his enemies. After Matteoti, Amendola, and Gobetti, it is now Carlo Rosselli who is the victim of the dictator’s hatred and fear. The elevation of his mind, the breadth of his culture, the passion of his principles and life, the intransigent purity of his faith and his battle, the living and innovative breath he brought to the propaganda for anti-fascism in Italy and in the emigration, his will to forge proletarian unity in the final struggle with fascism, capitalism, and the material and moral oppression of the modern world justly led Mussolini to recognize in Carlo Rosselli the most dangerous of his enemies. As a result, in keeping with fascist methods, he was killed. He had recently denounced with implacable firmness and serenity and with irrefutable documentation and documentation fascism’s responsibility in the face of Italy and Europe for the aggression against Abyssinia and the armed invasion of Spain. After having paid with his person in the prisons and battlefields of Aragon, Rosselli renewed in the organ he edited, Giustizia e LibertÓ, his indictment of the regime, one all the more vigorous in that he disdained facile, superficial, and demagogic methods. Not for an instant did he cease to reaffirm his vehement determination to fight without truce for the political, spiritual, and social rebirth of Italy in order to restore it to its humane and real civilization and its European function.

Fascism responded to this adversary so full of nobility, honesty, and courage with the dagger. It removed from the antifascist struggle its youngest chief and its most determined leader; from Italian thought two great minds; and from a family glorious in Italian history since the time of the Risorgimento in so many ways, its dearest beings.

Fascism is crime in individual relations as it is war in international relations.

The wretched and contradictory attempts at fantastic explanations of the crime to which the fascist press and its agents vainly give themselves over are an admission of guilt. Any allusion to supposed dissension in anti-fascist circles on the subject of a man towards whom anti-fascists always unanimously testified their admiration; any allusion to the possibility of pardon or cooling on the part of an indomitable fighter who, a few days before his death, reaffirmed in his newspaper, Giustizia e LibertÓ, the reasons for his total opposition, who had always denounced compromise as the most serious form of corruption and degeneration of Italian life: these are the maneuvers, whose ridiculousness equal their horror and who sole value consists in the fact that they reveal the killer’s worry. Before the remains of Carlo Rosselli, its believed leader, and of Nello Rosselli, who was his true brother in the flesh, in faith, and in death, Giustizia e LibertÓ lowers its mourning banner in an anguish equal to its profound indignation, to its will to continue the battle, which becomes all the more arduous as it is more elevated and sacred.

The massacre in Bagnoles filled the entire world with horror. We must erase the mark of shame that weighs on our people. Will all our strength/might we will hasten the day of deliverance and justice. Our homage is summed up in the vow: struggle until death.

The Central Committee of Giustizia e LibertÓ.