The emaciated corpses of some of the tens of thousands of executed proletarian defenders of the Paris Comune of 1871.The Comune of Paris had been a radical institution during the Great Revolution of the late 18th century, whose political traditions were revived to embody the political rejection of the terms imposed on the defeated Second Empire at Sedan.

The program of the Comune was one of national resistance and political and social reform, such as the abolition of night shifts for bakers. These modest proposals were anathema to the French bourgeoisie, contemptuous of working class political participation and socioeconomic aspirations.

Under the leadership of Thiers, who had been instrumental in the crushing of the Paris uprising of 1848, a National Assembly was established at Versaille to organise national elections under bourgeois patronage, and French troops were liberated from German imprisonment to lay seige to Paris. The crushing of the Comune embittered French & European politics for generations, and it remains a cultural symbol to conjure with to this day.

At Schio on the eve of the Great War the young socialist organiser Pietro Tresso instituted a youth group entitled in honour of the Comune.

Photo from Gershenheims `Historic Events 1839-1939' Longmans London 1960