Francesco Giunta
Francesco Giunta was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 Fascist politician.

Early fascist career

Born in the Tuscan
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

 town of San Piero a Sieve
San Piero a Sieve
San Piero a Sieve is a comune in the Province of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 20 km north of Florence.-Main sights:The Medici Villa del Trebbio is located in San Piero's territory.-References:...

, he started his career as a lawyer. He served as a machine gun captain in the World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. An early member of the Italian fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 movement, he was the leader of fascio
Fascio, plural -sci /'faʃʃo, ʃi/ is an Italian word literally meaning "a bundle" or "a sheaf", and figuratively league, and which was used in the late 19th century to refer to political groups of many different orientations...

 in Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 before being sent to Trieste
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city...

 in 1920 to work under Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio or d'Annunzio was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist...

. Under the direction of D'Annunzio he became the propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 chief in Fiume
Rijeka is the principal seaport and the third largest city in Croatia . It is located on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea and has a population of 128,735 inhabitants...


He became one of the organizers of Fascism in the Julian March
Julian March
The Julian March is a former political region of southeastern Europe on what are now the borders between Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy...

 (Venezia Giulia), the easternmost region of Italy, acquired from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after 1918. He worked with Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 to set up a number of Fascist squads that attacked a group of allegedly separatist Slovenes in northern Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

. As a Fascist leader (ras) of Trieste, he built up an early mass support base for the Fascist movement. In July 1920, he led the squad that burnt down the Narodni dom, the community centre of the Slovenes in Trieste. Giunta gained fame in March 1922 when he followed the example of D'Annunzio by staging a coup in the Free State of Fiume
Free State of Fiume
The Free State of Fiume was an independent free state which existed between 1920 and 1924. Its territory of comprised the city of Fiume and rural areas to its north, with a corridor to its west connecting it to Italy.-History:Fiume gained autonomy for the first time in 1719 when it was proclaimed...

 with 2000 followers and by doing so laying down the foundations for the official Italian takeover in 1924. In October 1922, he commanded the Fascists from the Julian March
Julian March
The Julian March is a former political region of southeastern Europe on what are now the borders between Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy...

 on the March on Rome
March on Rome
The March on Rome was a march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy...

. His leading position in the early years of fascism came despite his Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, a movement to which Mussolini was bitterly opposed.

Under Mussolini's government

He became national secretary of the National Fascist Party
National Fascist Party
The National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism...

 in succession to Michele Bianchi
Michele Bianchi
Michele Bianchi was an Italian revolutionary syndicalist leader. He was among the founding members of the Fascist movement. He was widely seen as the dominant leader of the leftist, syndicalist wing of the National Fascist Party, and one of the most influential politicians of the regime before his...

 in 1923 and oversaw the move towards an increasingly diminished role for the party rank and file as Mussolini consolidated his government. Replaced by Roberto Farinacci
Roberto Farinacci
Roberto Farinacci was a leading Italian Fascist politician, and important member of the National Fascist Party before and during World War II, and one of its ardent anti-Semitic proponents.-Early life:...

 the following year, Giunta settled into an undersecretary's role in the cabinet office. In this role he was pivotal in signalling one of the future intentions of Italian foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 when he stated in an April 1933 visit to Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 that he was on Italian soil and that the future of the island lay in complete union with Italy.


In February 1943, he succeeded Giuseppe Bastianini
Giuseppe Bastianini
Giuseppe Bastianini was an Italian politician and diplomat. Initially associated with the hard-line elements of the fascist movements he later became a member of the dissident tendency....

 as the governor of Italian-occupied Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

. A fervent anti-Yugoslav
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 since the times of his activity in the South Slav-inhabited Julian March
Julian March
The Julian March is a former political region of southeastern Europe on what are now the borders between Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy...

, Giunta brought a number of his old colleagues from Trieste with himself. His regime became noted for its brutality against the local Croat population, and a fierce repression of the Yugoslav partisan movement present in the area.

Accusations of war crimes

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 demanded the extradiction of Giunta, so that he could be trialed for war crimes committed in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav demand was rejected by both Italy and the Allies. Giunta settled in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where he died in 1971.
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