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Who Killed Carlo Tresca

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which follows the Communist Party line. Tresca was willing to cooperate in forming the Council, but only on condition that it would include neither ex-Fascists nor Stalinists. Since he carried great weight in the Italian-American community, and since he pursued his campaign to keep the Council clear of all totalitarian elements with his usual energy and refusal to compromise, Tresca became a formidable stumbling block to both factions in the weeks immediately preceding his murder.

After his death, OWI spokesmen tried to conceal these differences, giving out statements to which Tresca's widow and some of his close friends took pointed exception. On January 18, 1943, Alan Cranston, then chief of the OWI's foreign language division, made this assertion: "Tresca was not opposed to participation of Communists in the Victory Council, because he felt that all anti-Fascists should unite until Fascism is defeated." Elsewhere Lee Falk, another OWI official, was quoted as saying that while Tresca was on record as opposing the inclusion of the Communists he had agreed not to make an issue of it.

Countering this, Girolamo Valenti, one of the council's organizing committee, said that three days before the murder, Tresca telephoned to ask that he work with him to keep Communists out of the Council. And Alberto Tarchiani, then national secretary of the Mazzini Society and now Italy's Ambassador to the United States, stated on January 18th: "It is a known fact that Tresca was against an alliance with ex-Fascists such as Generoso Pope, and with the Communists." Mr. Tarchiani related that Tresca had been invited to a meeting called by Falk, and had asked his friend, Dr. Umberto Gualtieri, vice-president of the society's New York chapter, to go with him. Tresca told Dr. Gualtieri, according to Tarchiani, that they would attend merely as observers, and that if he saw ex-Fascists or Communists present, he would leave the assemblage.

The row over the Italian American Victory Council was only the latest in a long series of episodes in Tresca's twenty-year fight against Italian Fascism. He had struck editorially and in speeches at various men and women who had upheld Mussolini's cause. All the world knows about the Fascist assassination of Mattcotti, anti-Fascist member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, in 1924, and of the Roesselli brothers in France in 1937. But there were hundreds of such killings about which Italians know, yet of which not many others are aware.

The Murder Car

At first the authorities seemed to be making remarkably rapid progress toward solving the Tresca crime. Late on the night of the killing the police found an abandoned Ford sedan, with all four doors open, in 18th Street near Seventh Avenue, and alongside a subway entrance, five blocks west and north of the murder scene. A bunch of keys hung from the ignition lock. The car had been licensed in the name of Charles Pappas, at a Queens County address which proved non-existent. The Con-Field Automobile Company, 1902 Broadway, disclosed that it had sold this sedan to "Charles Pappas" for $300 cash on December 22, three weeks before Tresca was shot down.

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