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Sante Caserio

Sante Caserio

Introduction and biography of the Italian anarchist Sante Caserio, the circumstances that led to his act and the international repercussions that followed.

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Sante Geronimo Caserio; 8 September 1873 – 16 August 1894) was an Italian anarchist and the assassin of Marie François Sadi Carnot, President of the French Third Republic.

Caserio was born in Motta Visconti, Lombardy. On 24 June 1894, he fatally stabbed President Carnot after a banquet, to avenge Auguste Vaillant and Émile Henry.

At his trial, Caserio described the assassination in detail:

I heard the "Marseillaise" and the cries of "Viva Carnot!" I saw the cavalry come up. I understood that the moment had come and I held myself ready. On seeing the President's carriage I drew my dagger and threw away the sheath. Then, when the carriage was passing close by me, I sprang forward to the step, supported myself by resting my left hand on the carriage, and with my right hand buried the dagger in the President's breast

The Board of Pardons decided against all appeals for clemency on 14 August. Caserio was executed by guillotine in Lyon at precisely 5am, 16 August 1894 In front of the guillotine, he exclaimed "Coraggio cugini—evviva l'anarchia!" ("Courage, cousins—long live anarchy!")

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