Keywords: Massacre; Post-War Palermo; Party Newspaper; Identity.
The Via Maqueda massacre of 19 October 1944 is a crucial event in the history of post-war Palermo. After the end of the dictatorship, the democratic forces had to deal, for the first time and in a dramatic way, with the presence of a vast urban underclass, whose existence had been made even more precarious by the war destruction and the rationing hardships. The reborn party newspapers - which are the main source of documentation analyzed by the author - addressed the challenge to define the elusive identity of these "seething bowels" dwelling in the city centre. The following public debate highlighted the ambiguous attitude of the political forces, perpetually hovering between the desire to represent the requests and needs of this part of the urban population and the temptation to consider it as the prototype of what a new Italian citizen should never be.