Matteotti’s Speech

One century ago, on May 30th 1924, the secretary of the Unitary Socialist Party and Member of Parliament Giacomo Matteotti gave a speech denouncing the irregularities of the 1924 elections and asking for their annulment. He claimed that Mussolini’s government used the newly constituted fascist-controlled “Voluntary Militia for the National Security” to intimidate and beat political opponents and voters. The militia was also present inside the polling stations, while opposition representatives were often not allowed to enter. Opposition candidates were rarely allowed to hold public events. Matteotti also affirmed that Mussolini made clear that he did not care much about the elections, because he would have used the force to stay in power in case of defeat.

After the speech, he famously told his colleagues “I made my speech, now prepare the one for my funeral”. He was kidnapped by fascist militiamen and killed just eleven days later.