Virgilia D'Andrea (1888-1933)

Born in Sulmona, Italy. After both her parents died, she was educated in a convent school against which she soon rebelled. She qualified as a teacher. Her first contact with anarchism came when she was 12 through reports of Gaetano Bresci's assassination of the King of Italy in Monza in 1900. Qualifying as a teacher, she taught in a number of elementary schools in the Abruzzo, before meeting her future partner Armando Borghi, the leading anarcho-syndicalist. She then began to give talks and write poetry and prose for the movement press, involving herself in anti-militarist and anarcho-syndicalist (USI) activity. Seeing fascism as a war of violence waged against civilisation, she advocated all-out struggle against it. "Attacking fascism amounts to a defence of humanity's present and future." She was committed to the campaign to save Sacco and Vanzetti. Driven into exile, she moved through Germany, Holland and France to the United States. She died of cancer in New York.

(Taken from a review by Giorgio Sacchetti.)

Translated by: Paul Sharkey.