The Italian Communist Party created the most articulated and effective political school – and the only one in Italy – aimed at creating cadre leaders. Called the Frattocchie School, it was a residential school on the hills of Rome and was in operation from 1944 to 1993. The students had to attend courses lasting from six months to a year where they studied historical materialism and the history of the Bolshevik party, but where they also experienced collective life, group identity, and the theoretical and practical values of communism. The Frattocchie model began with an initial period in which training consisted of the organization and acculturation of the working classes, starting with workers and peasants, according to a schema influenced by the Soviet schools but where the socializing bent of the Italian institutes mitigated the sectarianism and dogmatism of Moscow. The aim of the training was to build the career of the future politician capable of embodying the ideals of a party that demanded control, preparation and discipline. For this reason, the Italian communist schools represented an original example in teaching methods and curricula, handing down the memory of communism over time. The diaries, questionnaires and testimonies of the students who attended the school in its 50 years of activity are important sources and a precious heritage to understand how the communist ‘faith’ became a vehicle of recognition and belonging. Even today the name Frattocchie is associated with a model of party school to be imitated in order to teach methods and principles to those who want to pursue a political career.

Lessons on Communism: Party Schools in Italy in the 20th Century

Anna Tonelli
2021-01-01

Abstract

The Italian Communist Party created the most articulated and effective political school – and the only one in Italy – aimed at creating cadre leaders. Called the Frattocchie School, it was a residential school on the hills of Rome and was in operation from 1944 to 1993. The students had to attend courses lasting from six months to a year where they studied historical materialism and the history of the Bolshevik party, but where they also experienced collective life, group identity, and the theoretical and practical values of communism. The Frattocchie model began with an initial period in which training consisted of the organization and acculturation of the working classes, starting with workers and peasants, according to a schema influenced by the Soviet schools but where the socializing bent of the Italian institutes mitigated the sectarianism and dogmatism of Moscow. The aim of the training was to build the career of the future politician capable of embodying the ideals of a party that demanded control, preparation and discipline. For this reason, the Italian communist schools represented an original example in teaching methods and curricula, handing down the memory of communism over time. The diaries, questionnaires and testimonies of the students who attended the school in its 50 years of activity are important sources and a precious heritage to understand how the communist ‘faith’ became a vehicle of recognition and belonging. Even today the name Frattocchie is associated with a model of party school to be imitated in order to teach methods and principles to those who want to pursue a political career.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2689541
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