Luigi Ugolini - Political Activity

Political Activity

Known as a poet whose writings were a flame to conscience and ethical thinking, Ugolini is remembered as a brave spirit who considered indifference among the most reprehensible of sins. On the April 27, 1940, Ugolini was arrested by the Fascist police for his essays against the regime. When Benito Mussolini's political movement began to establish alliances with Germany, Ugolini protested and predicted the misfortune of entering World War II in alliance with Adolf Hitler. He was tried and condemned by the Special Court to two years of confinement as a political prisoner.

Legends of Ugolini are still told in smaller towns of the Tuscan countryside. He is said to have packed his seven children into a car after a dishonest business manager lost their country villa, and to have lit a cigarette with a piece of money to show disdain for greed. Another legend tells of his arrest by the Fascist police. According to this legend, his daughter Maria Luisa went to the garden to announce to her father they had visitors, two men who claimed to be from Cinecittà. When Ugolini asked his daughter for her impression of them, she gave him the hand signal for “so-so.” Ugolini quietly instructed her to hide his typewriter. The two men in fact were Fascist police in disguise, and they arrested him. After interrogation and threats against his family, Ugolini admitted being the anonymous author of the anti-Fascist essays. Ugolini asked for copies of the essays in question, a pen, and a cigarette, and then he signed his name to each essay. He was spared execution because Mussolini admired his novel La Zolla and saw that the public opinion of Ugolini was too favorable.

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