Umberto Elia Terracini
Terracini, Umberto Elia
Born July 27, 1895, in Genoa. A leader of the Italian labor movement. A lawyer by education and profession.
Terracini became involved in the socialist youth movement in 1911 and joined the Italian Socialist Party (ISP) in 1916. He began writing for the newspaper Avanti! in 1914. In 1919 he joined the Ordine Nuovo group; that same year he became secretary of the Turin section and a member of the leadership of the ISP. He subsequently became involved in the movement to create factory councils. In 1921 he helped found the Communist Party of Italy (ICP) and from the outset was a member of its leadership. From 1921 to 1924 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. In 1926 he became director of the central organ of the ICP, the newspaper L’Unita in Milan. That same year he was arrested and sentenced by the special Fascist Tribunal to 23 years’ imprisonment.
In 1944, Terracini headed the government of the partisan republic in Ossola, Piedmont, which was established during the Italian people’s national liberation war of 1943–45. A member of the Central Committee of the ICP since 1946, he was elected a candidate member of the leadership in 1946 and a member in 1955. Terracini was president of the Constituent Assembly in 1947; he was elected to the Senate in 1948 and was the president of the Communist group in the Senate from 1958 to 1973. A member of the World Peace Council since 1950, Terracini is a leader of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the Association of Democratic Lawyers in Italy. He is also the president of the National Association of the Political Victims of Fascism.