Pertini, Alessandro

(1896–1990)
   “Sandro” Pertini was an icon of the Italian left and probably the most popular president of the first republic. Born in Savona (Liguria), he served during World War I as an officer in a machine-gun battalion. After 1918, Pertini joined the Partito Socialista Italiano/Italian Socialist Party (PSI), but, in 1922, he passed to the socialist reformists. He was an active antifascist. In May 1925, he was arrested while printing a pamphlet entitled Sotto la dittatura barbara fascista (Under the Barbaric Fascist Dictatorship), which earned him eight months’ imprisonment. Amnestied, he was one of a group of youthful socialists who spirited Filippo Turati out of Italy (crossing from Savona in Liguria to Corsica in a motorboat) and then accompanied the veteran socialist leader to Paris. Pertini was sentenced in absentia to 10 years’imprisonment for this feat. Unable to return to Italy, he settled in Nice and operated a clandestine radio station. In 1928, he was arrested by the French police. His trial in January 1929 became a cause celebre. Pertini used the trial as an opportunity to denounce the Fascist regime publicly and escaped with a suspended one-month prison sentence. In 1929, Pertini, calling himself Luigi Roncaglia, returned to Italy intent on assassinating Benito Mussolini. Unluckily seen and recognized by a lawyer from Savona, he was arrested once more and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in November 1929. Subjected to solitary confinement, Pertini’s health collapsed, and only an international campaign by antifascist exiles abroad succeeded in getting him transferred to an easier jail in Foggia (Apulia), where he was a fellow prisoner of Antonio Gramsci. Despite his precarious health, Pertini staunchly resisted attempts by his family to obtain a pardon for him. Indeed, in November 1933, he was given a further nine-year prison sentence for insulting a notoriously sadistic prison officer. Pertini spent the period 1940–1943 in the prison camp for antifascist intellectuals on the Isle of Ventotene. Liberated in August 1943, he rushed to Rome, where he became a member of the central committee of the newly reconstituted PSI. He was given responsibility for organizing the party’s military effort against the Nazis. He took a leading role in the street battles that followed Italy’s surrender on 8 September 1943, but in October he was captured and condemned to death by the Nazis. A daring rescue by partisans in January 1944 saved his life. Pertini spent the rest of the war in permanent danger of death and torture as one of the principal leaders of the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale-Alta Italia/Committee of National Liberation-Northern Italy (CLNAI), and, in March 1945, he was one of the organizers of the popular insurrection in Milan. He was awarded the gold medal for valor for his services to the resistance. After the war, Pertini naturally became a leading figure in the PSI, even though his political line was only rarely in accord with the party leadership’s. Pertini was elected to Parliament in 1953 and retained his seat in the Chamber of Deputies until 1978. From 1968 to 1976, he was president of the Chamber.
   In 1978, Pertini was elected president of the Republic, with 832 votes out of a possible 995. As the historian Paul Ginsborg has remarked, Pertini’s selection was an “extraordinarily felicitous choice.” Pertini brought the presidency closer to the people by inviting thousands of schoolchildren to visit him in the presidential palace, he took the bold political step of going outside the Democrazia Cristiana/ Christian Democracy Party (DC) for the premiership, and he invoked the values of the resistance as a basis for a rebirth of Italy’s stagnant democracy. Perhaps the most enduring image of Pertini’s presidency occurred during the 1982 World Cup final between Italy and West Germany. Throwing protocol to the winds, Italy’s first citizen celebrated Italy’s winning goal with a patriotic joy that was published on the front pages of newspapers throughout the world. Pertini died in Rome in February 1990, aged nearly 94. His death was marked by widespread public mourning.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pertini, Alessandro — ▪ president of Italy born Sept. 25, 1896, Stella San Giovanni, near Savona, Italy died Feb. 24, 1990, Rome       politician and president of Italy (1978–85), distinguished by his statesmanship amid political and social upheaval.       Pertini,… …   Universalium

  • Pertini, Alessandro — ► (1896 1990) Político italiano. Fue senador en 1948, diputado en varias legislaturas y presidente de la Cámara de Diputados. Fue el séptimo presidente de la República italiana en 1978 85. Representó la lucha contra el fascismo, en Italia …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pertini — Pertini, Alessandro …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pertini — Pertini,   Alessandro (Sandro), italienischer Politiker, * Stella (Provinz Savona) 25. 9. 1896, ✝ Rom 24. 2. 1990; schloss sich politisch den Sozialisten an. Als Gegner des Faschismus war er 1927 35 in Haft, 1935 43 in der Verbannung. Mit P.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Pertini — (izg. pertȋni), Alessandro (Sandro) (1896 1990) DEFINICIJA talijanski političar i pravnik, od 1918. član Socijalističke stranke Italije, jedan od najpopularnijih talijanskih antifašističkih političara i poslijeratnih državnika; predsjednik Doma… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Pertini — Sandro Pertini Alessandro (Sandro) Pertini (* 25. September 1896 in Stella/Provinz Savona; † 24. Februar 1990 in Rom) war ein italienischer Politiker. Er war vom 8. Juli 1978 bis zum 23. Juni 1985 italienischer Staatspräsident und wohl gemeinsam… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alessandro Pertini — Sandro Pertini Alessandro (Sandro) Pertini (* 25. September 1896 in Stella/Provinz Savona; † 24. Februar 1990 in Rom) war ein italienischer Politiker. Er war vom 8. Juli 1978 bis zum 23. Juni 1985 italienischer Staatspräsident und wohl gemeinsam… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alessandro Pertini — Sandro Pertini Alessandro Pertini 7e président de la République italienne …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alessandro — ist ein männlicher Vorname. Für den Familiennamen siehe D’Alessandro. Bekannte Namensträger Vorname Alessandro Achillini (1463–1512), italienischer Philosoph und Arzt Alessandro Albani (1692–1779), Kardinal der katholischen Kirche Alessandro… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alessandro — hace referencia a: Alessandro Algardi, escultor italiano. Alessandro Allori, pintor italiano. Alessandro Baricco, novelista, dramaturgo y periodista italiano. Alessandro Manzoni, escritor italiano. Sandro Pertini, ex presidente de Italia …   Wikipedia Español

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