Augusto De Marsanich

The Honourable
Augusto De Marsanich
Member of the Italian Senate
In office
5 June 1968  24 May 1972
Constituency Rome
Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies
In office
25 June 1953  4 June 1968
Constituency L'Aquila
President of the Italian Social Movement
In office
10 October 1954  24 May 1972
Preceded by Rodolfo Graziani
Succeeded by Gino Birindelli
Secretary of the Italian Social Movement
In office
10 January 1950  10 October 1954
Preceded by Giorgio Almirante
Succeeded by Arturo Michelini
Member of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations
In office
20 April 1929  5 August 1943
Constituency At-large
Personal details
Born (1893-04-13)April 13, 1893
Rome, Italy
Died February 10, 1973(1973-02-10)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party National Fascist Party
Italian Social Movement
Profession Journalist, manager
Religion Roman Catholicism (baptized)

Augusto De Marsanich (April 13, 1893 – February 10, 1973) was an Italian fascist politician and the second leader of the Italian Social Movement (MSI).

Early years

De Marsanich was born in Rome. He enlisted in the Italian Army in 1916 and saw active service in the First World War.[1] After leaving the army he became involved in politics and joined the National Fascist Party in 1920.[1] He was a journalist by profession and worked for La Stampa most notably.[1]

Under the fascists

Although he did not achieve high office, De Marsanich held a number of positions within the fascist movement. He served as a director of the local party in Latium and Sabine from 1927 to 1929, briefly serving as a member of the Fascist Grand Council in the latter year.[1] 1929 also saw him take a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, where he remained a member until 1943.[1] Seen as something of a bureaucrat, he variously served with the Syndical Office, as head of the party's Legal Office, President of the Syndical Confederation of Commerce and Vice-President of the Corporation for the Building Trades.[1]

He served as under-secretary of communications from 1935 to 1943 and also represented Italy at the League of Nations during the Ethiopia crisis.[2] He also was a regular contributor to a number of fascist journals, notably Giuseppe Bottai's Critica Fascista[3] and served as a director of the fascist monthly Il Lavoro Fascista.[1] As the maternal uncle of novelist Alberto Moravia De Marsanich helped to ensure that he enjoyed the patronage of Benito Mussolini's government.[4]

He continued to hold a number of positions in the Italian Social Republic, most notably acting as Assistant Postmaster-General, as well as serving as chairman of both the Banco di Roma and Alfa Romeo.[1] Within the Salo Republic he largely belonged to the moderate tendency that cautioned against the growing atmosphere of violence and the pervading influence of Nazism.[1]

Post-war activity

De Marsanich joined the MSI after the Second World War and was part of the more moderate tendency with the party.[5] He became leader in 1950 and under his leadership the MSI became more fully committed to the parliamentary route to government and he even sought alliances with other parties, including Christian Democracy, the Italian Liberal Party and the Monarchist National Party.[6] In his attempts to form a united front of anti-communism he was frustrated by more hard-line fascist loyalists such as Giorgio Almirante.[7] In his capacity as MSI leader De Marsanich also served as part of the four man leadership of the European Social Movement (ESM), along with Per Engdahl, Maurice Bardèche and Karl-Heinz Priester.[8] His commitment to moderation in the MSI was frequently at odds with his enthusiastic support for the ESM, a group that contained several leading neo-Nazi activists.[1]

He was succeeded as leader by fellow moderate Arturo Michelini in 1954, although he continued to be a leading MSI figure as national secretary.[1] He was again elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1953 and the Italian Senate in 1968.[1] He was also unsuccessful candidate for the President of Italy in 1964. In 1971 the veteran De Marsanich was appointed to President of the MSI in 1955, having earlier been made honorary Vice-President.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, Simon & Schuster, 1990, p. 89
  2. Guido Bonsaver, Censorship and literature in fascist Italy, p. 153
  3. John Whittam, Fascist Italy, 1995, p. 2
  4. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Fascist Modernity, 2004, p. 55
  5. Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History, 1996, p. 250
  6. Gino Moliterno, Encyclopedia of contemporary Italian culture, 2000, p. 550
  7. Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy, 2003, p. 144
  8. Graham Macklin, Very Deeply Dyed in Black, 2007, p. 107
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