Chi uccise Carlo Tresca? [Who Killed Carlo Tresca?] New York: Tresca Memorial Committee, [1947].



Chi uccise Carlo Tresca? [Who Killed Carlo Tresca?] New York: Tresca Memorial Committee, [1947].


The cover of this pamphlet (as well as the English language version, in English) notes “Con prefazioni di Arturo Giovannitti e John Dos Passos.” In the earlier (1945) English language version, also in the collection, the goal is stated: to incite readers to “stir the authorities out of their lethargy in the Tresca situation,” urging them to contact Manhattan District Aattorney Frank S. Hogan and the newly appointed police commissioner to undertake a new and independent investigation. This Italian version, issued two years after the English version, also in the Collection, lacks this exhortation at the end, probably because it was no longer timely.

As Giovannitti asks in his preface, “Who had any reason to have Carlo murdered? . . . For this man was everybody’s friend, tutor, and counselor; he really loved everybody from the derelict and the destitute up to the teacher, the healer, even the man of affairs. . . . He was a friend of the policeman who arrested him scores of times, of the District Attorney who denounced him as an enemy of society but ate and drank at his table, the jailer who locked him up for interminable days. . . .”

Tresca’s attacks on Mussolini were almost surely responsible for his assassination. One evening in 1943 — the same year in which Mussolini was deposed — upon leaving the office of his newspaper, Il Martello, in Union Square, Tresca was gunned down. The circumstances remain mysterious to this day. Some say it was on direct orders from Mussolini because of Tresca’s unrelenting polemics against him. Others, such as union leader (and leading anti-communist) Luigi Antonini, blamed the Communists, and in particular, a former Tresca colleague with whom Tresca had become disenchanted, Vittorio Vidali (known in America as Enea Sormente). The more likely culprit was the then young hitman, Carmine Galante, possibly on orders from Generoso Pope, the pro-Mussolini publisher of Il Progresso Italo-Americano, the largest circulation and longest-lived Italian-language daily.

The Tresca Memorial Committee included A. Philip Randolph, Edmund Wilson and John Dewey, as well as its chair, Norman Thomas, the perennial Socialist Party candidate for president.

This pamphlet, far more common in its English version (issued in 1945) than in this Italian one (1947), was circulated with the exhortation that “those who believe with us that political murder in the United States must not go unpunished . . . help circulate this pamphlet widely . . . we have no thought of placing the guilt in the Tresca assassination at the door of any specific organization or individual.”

While it's not clear who assassinated Tresca, it is certainly clear that Tresca’s assassination obsessed many who loved him.


Tresca Memorial Committee


Tresca Memorial Committee




22 x 15.25cm; 31 p.




Tresca Memorial Committee, “Chi uccise Carlo Tresca? [Who Killed Carlo Tresca?] New York: Tresca Memorial Committee, [1947].,” Italian-Language American Imprints: The Periconi Collection, accessed December 6, 2022,

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