The study of youth associations inside mass parties is only partially investigated by historians. By considering a variety of sources, this article analyzes the birth of Christian democratic Gruppi giovanili, renamed Movimento giovanile Dc in 1953, from its origins in 1944 to 1955, the year Amintore Fanfani became the party’s secretary. The aim is to question some previous interpretations, by focusing on a series of debates that took place inside the organization at several crucial turning points during the 1940s and 1950s. It highlights its originality when compared to the themes discussed in adult groups, and relates the activities of the Gruppi giovanili to the Christian democratic youth groups established in other European countries.
Keywords: Christian democracy, Dc Youth movement, young people, mass parties, Republican Italy, youth associations