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Randolfo Pacciardi (1 January 1899 – 14 April 1991) was an Italian politician, a member of the Italian Republican Party (PRI). He was also an officer who fought during World War I and in the Spanish Civil War.

Randolfo Pacciardi
Randolfo Pacciardi (2).jpg
Minister of Defence
In office
23 May 1948 – 16 July 1953
Prime MinisterAlcide De Gasperi
Preceded byCipriano Facchinetti
Succeeded byGiuseppe Codacci Pisanelli
Member of the Italian Chamber
for Pisa
In office
8 May 1948 – 4 June 1968
Member of the Constituent Assembly
for Pisa
In office
25 June 1946 – 8 May 1948
Secretary of the Italian Republican Party
In office
April 1933 – March 1934
Preceded byRaffaele Rossetti
Succeeded byGiuseppe Chiostergi
In office
May 1945 – December 1949
Preceded byUmberto Pagani
Succeeded byOronzo Reale
Personal details
Born(1899-01-01)1 January 1899
Gavorrano, Italy
Died14 April 1991(1991-04-14) (aged 92)
Rome, Italy
Political partyItalian Republican Party
(1915–64; 1980–91)
Democratic Union for the New Republic
(1964–1974)
RelationsGiovanni Pacciardi (father)
Elvira Guidoni (mother)
Alma materUniversity of Siena
ProfessionPolitician, Journalist
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Italy
 Spanish Republic
Branch/service Royal Italian Army
Second Spanish Republic International Brigades
Years of service1917–1919; 1936–1939
RankLieutenant colonel
Unit11th Bersaglieri Regiment
8th Bersaglieri Regiment
XII International Brigade
Battles/warsWorld War I (1914–1918)

Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)

BiographyEdit

Pacciardi was born at Giuncarico, in the province of Grosseto (southern Tuscany).

In 1915 he became a member of the Italian Republican Party (PRI), and, despite being underage, he was enlisted in the Italian Army's officers school. As a Bersaglieri lieutenant, he fought during World War I, and was awarded with two silver and one bronze medals, as well as an English Military Cross.

In 1921 he graduated in jurisprudence. Later he collaborated with the newspaper L'Etruria Nuova, denouncing the increasing violences of the Fascist squads. In 1922 Pacciardi moved to Rome, where he founded the anti-fascist movement "L'Italia libera", which was suppressed in 1925. After the Fascists outlawed all the other parties, he was condemned to five years confinement, but was able to escape to Austria and then to Switzerland.

 
Pacciardi in 1958.

After moving to France, in 1936 he founded an Italian Antifascist Legion to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He subsequently fought at the head of the Garibaldi Brigade, part of the International Brigades in the Siege of Madrid, after which he was promoted as lieutenant colonel. Pacciardi fought against the National faction in Spain until 1937. Disappointed with the communists over the internal persecution that began on poumists and anarchists, he left Spain and returned to France. That year, in Paris, he founded the weekly La Giovine Italia (a homage to the ideologist of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini). In 1938 he held a series of lectures in the United States about anti-fascism in Europe. In the same year he joined Masonry, and was confirmed as secretary of the PRI in exile. When the Italian-American antifascist Mazzini Society was founded in 1939, Pacciardi joined that too. He returned to Italy only after the liberation of Rome in 1944. In 1945 he was again confirmed national secretary of the now re-established PRI, and the following year he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Italy.

Pacciardi's line of collaboration with the other left parties led to the entrance of PRI in the first Republic government cabinets of Italy (1947). Pacciard resigned as PRI's secretary and became vice-Prime Minister. He was Minister of Defense from 1948 to 1953, and supported the entrance of Italy in the NATO. In the 1950s PRI followed Ugo La Malfa line to not adherence to the centre governments led by Democrazia Cristiana; when in 1963 a first centre-left government, led by DC leader Aldo Moro, was created, Pacciardi and his followers within PRI voted against support to it. Also in the wake of a scandal which had involved his previous tenure as Minister of Defense (despite later he was acquitted from any accuse), Pacciardi was expelled from PRI.

 
Randolfo Pacciardi and David Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker, 1958

In 1964 he founded a new party, the Democratic Union for the New Republic, a newspaper, La Folla. The line of Nuova Repubblica was similar to Charles de Gaulle's. However, the 1968 Italian election proved to be a failure for the new party, with just 100,000 votes. Pacciardi himself was not re-elected to the Italian Parliament, and was later accused of having coup- and neofascist-oriented friendships. In 1974 he was investigated for participation in the so-called Golpe bianco of Edgardo Sogno.[1]

In 1979 he asked to be admitted back to the Republican Party, which happened two years later. In 1981 he founded a new magazine, L'Italia del popolo, which he directed for ten years. He died in Rome in 1991 and was buried in the communal cemetery of Grosseto.

Personal lifeEdit

Known for his jovial nature and passion for travel, Randolfo Pacciardi met and befriended people like Ernest Hemingway and his lover Martha Gellhorn,[2][3] David Ben-Gurion, Michael Curtiz (who asked Pacciardi for advice in the making of Casablanca)[4][5] and Fabrizio De André, to whose first wedding Pacciardi was witness due to his friendship with De André's father, Giuseppe.

In 1918, he was initiated into freemasonry. Randolfo Pacciardi joined the lodge "Ombrone" of Grosseto, becoming "Companion" the following year.[6] In 1937 he joined the Parisian lodge "Eugenio Chiesa",[7] as "master" and in 1938 was elevated to 30° degree of the Scottish Rite.

Medals and decorationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Panorama. XII (140): 44–46. 26 September 1974. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Randolfo Pacciardi, Protagonisti grandi e piccoli: studi, incontri, ricordi , Barulli, Roma, 1972, p. 644.
  3. ^ Ennio Caretto, Corriere della Sera, 4 ottobre 2006.
  4. ^ Randolfo Pacciardi, Cuore da battaglia: Pacciardi racconta a Loteta, Roma, Nuova edizioni del Gallo, 1990.
  5. ^ Cfr. Il Messaggero, 28 agosto 1995.
  6. ^ Aldo A. Mola, Pacciardi massone: iniziazione all'antitotalitarismo, in: Annali del Centro Pannunzio, Torino, 2001, pagg. 139-150
  7. ^ Santi Fedele, La massoneria italiana nell'esilio e nella clandestinità. 1927-1939, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2005, pagg. 162-63 e 183

SourcesEdit

  • Spinelli, Alessandro (1998). I repubblicani nel secondo dopoguerra (1943–1953) (in Italian). Ravenna, IT: Longo.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Cipriano Facchinetti
Italian Minister of Defense
23 May 1948 – 16 July 1953
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Codacci Pisanelli
Preceded by
Raffaele Rossetti
Secretary of Italian Republican Party
April 1933 – March 1934
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Chiostergi
Preceded by
Ottavio Abbati
Secretary of Italian Republican Party
(with Cipriano Facchinetti)

July 1934 – January 1942
Succeeded by
Mario Carrara
Preceded by
Giovanni Conti
Secretary of Italian Republican Party
May 1945 – September 1946
Succeeded by
Giulio Andrea Belloni
Preceded by
Giulio Andrea Belloni
Secretary of Italian Republican Party
January – December 1947
Succeeded by
Giulio Andrea Belloni
Ugo La Malfa
Oronzo Reale