Catania, Antonio Pallante died: he shot Togliatti because he feared communism

Antonio Pallante, the assassin of Palmiro Togliatti, died at his home in Catania at the age of 99. He was shot four times, three of which were successful, on July 14, 1948, in an attempt to kill the leader of the Italian Communist Party. . His death occurred last July, but the news was only leaked today by family members. He would have turned 100 on August 23rd. “My father always told us that he made that gesture simply because as a student he saw something that could be a threat to democracy, glimpsing the link between Togliatti and the USSR,” explains his son.
The shooting took place in Rome, near the Chamber of Deputies, from where Migliore, as Togliatti was nicknamed, had just left in the company of Nilde Iotti, who remained unharmed. Pallante, who left armed from Randazzo, in the Catania area, where he lived, acted alone driven, he said, by fear of the danger of the expansion of communism in Italy. He never dealt with politics again, at least publicly, but I officially regretted his gesture, judging it repugnant, but thinking it was the right thing to do to save the country from the communist risk.
The attempted murder, committed after the victory of the Christian Democrats in the 1948 policies, brought Italy one step away from civil war. There were strong street demonstrations which prompted Togliatti, wounded in the neck and chest, to release an interview from the Rome Polyclinic, where he had been operated on, to reassure everyone. “I’m out of danger,” said the PCI leader, “assuring all his comrades” that he would soon “return to his place.” The CGIL led by Di Vittorio suspended the announced general strike and the MPs of the Italian Communist Party withdrew their resignations. It was hypothesized that Bartali’s almost simultaneous victory of a stage and then of the Tour de France also contributed to restoring social tranquility.
A former seminarian and then a member of the Gioventù Italiana del Littorio to then campaign in 1948 for the Liberal Qualunquista Democratic Bloc, a small party born from a split of the anti-political movement Front of Whatever Man, Pallante was an obscure 24-year-old law student outside the university and he was driven at the time, he later argued, by an extreme nationalism. After the shooting he was arrested by the carabinieri and said he had bought the weapon in Randazzo and had arrived in Rome with the aim of assassinating Togliatti. A first attempt, made on July 13, 1948, the day before the attack, had failed because he had not managed to be received at the headquarters of the PCI secretariat, in via Botteghe Oscure. Tried for attempted murder he was sentenced to 13 years and eight months in prison. The second degree sentence was reduced to ten years and eight months. After the intervention of the Cassation and an amnesty, he served five years and three months in prison and was released from prison in 1953. After leaving prison, not having been banned from public office, he found work in the forestry department, like his father, and then in the Sicily Region without being interested anymore, at least publicly, in politics.

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Category Catania