Terracini, Umberto Elia

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TERRACINI, UMBERTO ELIA (1895–1983), Italian Communist leader. Terracini joined the Socialist Party as a youth and became a member of its executive as a representative of the radical wing. In 1921 he joined the newly formed Italian Communist Party. In 1926 Terracini edited the radical newspaper L'Unità of Milan and the same year was sentenced to 23 years' imprisonment by the Fascist administration. Pardoned in 1937, he was exiled to a remote part of the country. On his release in 1943 he took refuge in Switzerland. He returned to Italy in 1944 to take a leading part in the resistance in the Ossola Valley. When World War ii ended, Terracini became a member of the Consultative Assembly. He was elected a deputy to the Constituent Assembly and after the resignation of Giuseppe Saragat served as speaker from 1947 to 1948. In 1948 he became a senator and distinguished himself as one of the foremost orators in the Communist Party. In 1965–66 he was the party's candidate for the presidency of Italy. He took an independent, sympathetic position in the controversy about the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union and showed himself favorably disposed toward the State of Israel. He wrote the preface to the reader on Soviet Jewry, Gli ebrei nell' URSS (1966).

[Giorgio Romano]