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Marie Louise Berneri (1918-1949) born in Arezzo, Italy, the elder daughter of Camillo and Giovanna Berneri. Her father was a very popular and at times controvertial figure in the Italian anarchist moverment of the 1920s, and he and his family went into exile in 1926 for resisting Moussolini. Maria Luisa Berneri took on the french version of her name and went to study psychology at the Sorbonne in the mid-1930s. She soon became involved in the anarchist movement and produced the short-lived paper Revision, with Luis Mercier Vega. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War her father went to Spain, fought on the Aragon front, moved to Barcelona, and edited the prestigious Italian-language revolutionary anarchist paper Guerra di Classe. Marie went twice to Barcelona, the second time after her father's assasenation by Communists in May, 1937. She subsiquently moved to England and took an active part in the production of the English anarchist paper Freedom. Projects Berneri worked on included Spain and the World, Revolt! (the successor to Spain and the World) and being part of one of the small groups which started War Commentary.

Her wide contacts in and knowledge of the international movement gave her great authority among anarchists, but her libertarian principles and personal modesty prevented her from misusing it. In April 1945 she was one of the four editors of War Commentary who were tried for incitement to disaffection, but she was acquited on a legal technicality (a wife cannot conspire with her husband), and when her three comerades were imprisioned she took on the main responsibility for maintaining the paper into the postwar period. After her death in 1949 from a viral infection, several of her works were published posthumously by Freedom Press; Neither East Nor West and Journey Through Utopia, as well as various contributions to Freedom Press periodicals.

(Transcripted from Freedom Press, 1986)


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