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Liberation of Italy

The role of the clandestine newspapers

During Fascism, the press was one of the most important political tools. The news were approved or possibly censored by the government. The free press was born with the Liberation. In a single day, dozens of newspapers were published, ready to assert their positions. 

The first newspaper of the Resistance was spread while still fighting for the defense of Rome: in it the population were called to the fight of Resistance. Among the activities that animated the anti-fascism during the Regime and the Resistance in the years of war a decisive role was absolved by the press and the dissemination of clandestine publications, important and risky activities that were carried out manly by civilians. 

The underground press became fundamental after the Mateotti murder (June 10, 1924) and Mussolini’s subsequent speech of january 1925 in which the foundation of the dictatorial regime was laid with the official ban of political parties and the limitation of individual and social freedom. It was considered clandestine the press produced and spread without any authorization, by illegal organization and whose content aimed to hinder, during the years of Resistance, the realization of the plan of the Germans occupiers.  

There was no regular periodization and the printing techniques were also due the circumstances and possibilities. Everything was also missing: paper, cycle styles, ink and the condition of realization were prohibitive. Prints were made secretly in farmhouse or basement with the constant fear of denunciations. A relativity large part of the press, especially military commands and the most important Liberation Committees, was devoted to tell about the Partisan war: this information were collected through a dense network of relay – confirming the importance of women in the struggle of liberation, called “the silent resistance” that led to larger center of relationship, from which, often simply by cutting out the most significant steps, you get the brief to spread.

Where the Resistance was unarmed, the work of illegal printers was often among the riskiest activities and also the high level of opposition, carrying out the task of counter-information, propaganda and the dissemination of alternative thinking. It was in many ways the means of hope which opened the way to the expectation of a better world. 

The Liberation of Italy -the first step toward democracy- has allowed it to reach,  after decades of dissemination of regime propaganda and censorship opposed only by the clandestine press, the affirmation of the basic principles of information that will then be enshrined in the body of Art. 21 of the Constitution.

We point out some excellent books on Italian partisans who tell with words and images the history of the partisan war, the composition of guerrilla groups, the actions carried out in the mountains and in the hills, sabotage and fighting in the cities during the Italian Liberation War.

Images from the web