Decio Anzani [tribute, 1946]

The name is that of one of our finest militants who had been living for years in England where he had not let up on his propaganda activity and not just on behalf of the Italian movement but also the international one. He especially targeted militarism and war, the worst two scourges of humanity, and not without having come to the attention of the British police. Now on 10 June 1940, the fascist monarchy [in Italy] declared war and at 7 o’clock the very next morning Anzani was arrested. At the time there were quite a few criminal Italian fascists and provocateurs who never seemed to be bothered. An attack by fascists was answered by the deportation of antifascists to Canada! Moreover, a fortnight after Anzani was arrested and promptly deported, his poor wife and his beloved daughter Renata were informed that the deportees’ ship had sunk in Canada. No details were offered and the catastrophe remains a complete mystery. Anzani was 58 years old at the time and had devoted his entire life to the cause of anarchism with selflessness, courage and vigour. His case is a good illustration of the queer sort of antifascism to which those ruling Britain subscribed. We thought ourselves duty-bound to invoke Anzani’s memory after those tragic years by way of paying the just homage owed by so many unwitting victims to those whose consciences were clear and who, had they only been heeded and imitated, might have made the war impossible and the world a better place.

To Decio Anzani’s wife and daughter. So sorely tried we send the heartfelt condolences of the great anarchist family which, in him, has lost one of its finest, just when his handiwork would have all the more sorely needed. 

Il Risveglio Anarchico (Geneva) No 132, March 1946 (from

Translated by: Paul Sharkey.