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Renato Ricci
Renato Ricci
Born (1896-06-01)June 1, 1896
Died January 22, 1956(1956-01-22) (aged 59)
Nationality Italian
Years active 1919-1950s

Renato Ricci (1 June 1896 – 22 January 1956) was an Italian fascist politician active during the government of Benito Mussolini.


Ricci was born on 1 June 1896 in Carrara into working-class family.[1][2] He first came to prominence as a legionary of Gabriele d'Annunzio from 1919 to 1920.[3] He was arrested for his activities and imprisoned in Sarzana leading in 1920 to a failed attempt to 'liberate' him by fascist activists which, despite being a failure proved a propaganda success.[4]

As ras of the fascio squad in his native town Ricci initially demonstrated the left-wing origins of fascism by supporting a 40-day strike by quarry workers in 1924.[5] After the spell as a squad leader in Carrara, Ricci's profile rose and he eventually became head of the Opera Nazionale Balilla youth movement.[3]

He became a member of government and served as Mussolini's Minister of Corporations.[3] Politically he became known as one of the main Nazi sympathisers in the fascist government.[6] Indeed, along with others of a similar persuasion such as Giovanni Preziosi and Roberto Farinacci, he had fled to Nazi Germany before Gran Sasso raid and met up with Il Duce there after Otto Skorzeny's capture of the fascist leader.[7]

With a long-standing reputation for violence, he had established links with Heinrich Himmler through the Fascist militia before July 1943. With Nazi support, he and Alessandro Pavolini set about creating a new paramilitary gendarmerie.[8][page needed] He served as leader of this group, the Italian National Republican Guard, during the Italian Social Republic. Ricci was also the head of the Republican Police Corps established in December 1944 as part of the Italian Armed Forces. This group included the Fascist Blackshirts, the Italian Africa Police members serving in Rome and the Carabinieri.[9] The Corps would be the entity that would work against anti-Fascist groups and would be autonomous (not reporting to Rodolfo Graziani) according to an order issued by Mussolini on 19 November 1944.[10][11] Following the collapse of the Republic of Salo an Italian resistance movement tribunal discharged Ricci after deciding that his force was simply an internal police.[12] He died on 22 January 1956 in Rome. He was sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment but was released in 1950 reversed due to a general amnesty. In 1955, he became one of the founders of the neo-Fascist Association of Servicemen of the RSI.[13]


  1. Lasswell, Harold D.; Renzo Sereno (October 1937). "Governmental and Party Leaders in Fascist Italy". pp. 914–929. Digital object identifier:10.2307/1947917. JSTOR 1947917. 
  2. Trachy H. Koon (1985). Believe, Obey, Fight: Political Socialization of Youth in Fascist Italy, 1922-1943. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Nolte, Ernst (1969). Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian fascism, National Socialism. New York: Mentor. p. 619. 
  4. Nolte, Ernst (1969). Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian fascism, National Socialism. New York: Mentor. p. 262. 
  5. R.O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism, Penguin, 2004, p. 267
  6. P. Davies & D. Lynch, The Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right, 2002, p. 235
  7. Nicholas Farrell, Mussolini: A New Life, Phoenix, 2004, p. 429
  8. Peter Ghringhelli, A British Boy in Fascist Italy, 2010
  9., page 14
  10., page 97
  11. P. Neville, Mussolini, London: Routledge, 2004, p. 190
  12. Neville, p. 200
  13. Ghiringhelli, Peter (16 August 2010). British Boy in Fascist Italy. ISBN 9780752496771. 

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