Gaetano Bresci

Italian anarchist regicide of King Umberto I of Italy (1869-1901)

Gaetano Bresci (November 10, 1869 - May 22, 1901) was an Italian American anarchist who killed Italian King Umberto I. He is still considered a hero by many anarchists and republicans.

Gaetano Bresci


Bresci was born in Tuscany, and he went from Italy to the United States, he lived for many time Paterson, New Jersey, where there was a large Italian-American community. He was one of the founders of La Questione Sociale, the Italian language anarchist paper published in Paterson.

In 1898, the high bread prices led to demonstrations all over Italy. In Milan, an unarmed group of workers, women and children marched together for protesting, near the palace, which was surrounded by a strong military force under command of General Fiorenzo Bava-Beccaris. The people ignored the order to stop, so the General gave the signal of fire with rifles and cannons, resulting in a massacre of innocent people. Ninety people died, one of whom was Bresci's sister.

Umberto I's killingEdit

King Humbert later decorated Bava-Beccaris, and the king after said thanks to him,for "the defense of the royal house", the king did not do anything for the innocent people died, he decorated the murtder, this is the reason that made Bresci determined to kill the king.Bresci had his loan to the paper returned (without telling his comrades why), and with the money he went to Italy. In Monza, where the king was visiting on July 29, 1900, he shot him three times.

Bresci was captured and put on trial, where he was defended by the anarchist lawyer Francesco Saverio Merlino. He was sentenced in Milan on August 29, 1900, to life imprisonment on the jail of Santo Stefano Island near Ventotene, where lot of other anarchists had also been sent over the years. Less than a year later he was found dead in prison. It is not clear whether he committed suicide, as officially announced, or whether he was murdered by his guards.

Other websitesEdit