Togliatti, Palmiro

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(1893-1964), Italian political leader, born in Genoa, and educated in law at the University of Turin. In 1921 Togliatti, who had been a Socialist, was one of the founders of the Communist party of Italy. He wrote propaganda under the pen name Ercole Ercoli until 1926, when the Fascist regime drove him from Italy. Togliatti remained in exile for 18 years, most of that time living and working in Moscow; he also directed the activities of the Third (Communist) International in the Spanish civil war between 1936 and 1939. In 1944 he was permitted to return to Italy, where he regained leadership of the Communist party and was a member of the Italian coalition cabinet until 1946. In 1947 the majority party in Italy, the Christian Democrats, decided to exclude Communists from cabinet posts. Under the leadership of Togliatti, however, which lasted until his death, the Communist was the second largest political party of Italy.