Camillo Berneri was born in Lodi, Italy on 28 May 1897, and he served in the Royal Italian Army during World War I. He became a professor of humanities at the University of Florence, and he engaged in anti-fascist anarchist resistance in Italy until 1926, when he went into exile in Western Europe. Berneri was known for his anti-clerical and anti-fascist articles, causing him to be arrested and expelled from his host countries, which included France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. With Carlo Rosselli, he organized the first column of Italian volunteers to fight for the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, fighting against the fascist Falange party's forces. He criticized the anarchist CNT for becoming involved in the Frente Popular government, as anarchists working with the government legitimized authority. During the 1937 May Days in Barcelona, Berneri was arrested by Communist Party of Spain troops on Joseph Stalin's orders and was riddled with machine gun fire near the headquarters of the Generalitat de Catalunya.