Edgardo Sogno

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Edgardo Sogno

Count Edgardo Pietro Andrea Sogno Rata del Vallino di Ponzone (29 December 1915 - 5 August 2000) was an Italian diplomat, partisan and political figure. He was born in an aristocratic family from Piedmont.

Under Fascism[edit]

Sogno was born in Turin.

He joined the Italian military at 18 and was named sub-lieutenant in the regiment Nizza Cavalleria. After graduating in jurisprudence, he volunteered for Mussolini's auxiliary units which fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1938 on the Francoist side. He then became collaborator of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1940, during World War II. He achieved two others diplomas in Rome and started frequenting some anti-fascist circles, which included Benedetto Croce and Giaime Pintor.

He was called by the army in 1942 to go to France. However, he was arrested a year later on charges of high treason for having publicly prophesied the victory of the United States. A monarchist, he was during these years close to the Italian Liberal Party (PLI), and became representant of the PLI at the National Liberation Committee (Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale). He created the Partisan group Organizzazione Franchi and obtained a gold medal for his acts, helping hundreds of Italian Jews and others seek safe haven in Switzerland.[1]

After the war[edit]

After the Liberation, he founded the Corriere Lombardo newspaper as well as Costume. Edgardo Sogno was then elected deputy to the Constituent Assembly during the 1946 general election. He contested the June 2, 1946 referendum creating the Republic of Italy, deposing numerous appeals before the Corte di Cassazione in the aim of repealing the results of the vote (and restore monarchy). Although this failed, he became diplomat of the new regime, first in Buenos Aires where Juan Peron was head of state, then in Paris, London, Washington DC and, last, he was ambassador in Rangoon. While posted to Budapest, Hungary, in 1956, he helped people flee the country after anti-communist protests were halted by a Soviet invasion.[2]

He returned to Italy in 1971, where he founded the Comitati di Resistenza Democratica (Committee of Democratic Resistance), an anti-communist politic centre. Three years later, he was accused by the communist magistrate Luciano Violante of having planned, along with Luigi Cavallo and Randolfo Pacciardi, the Golpe bianco ("white coup d'etat"), a supposed coup. Following a year and a half of prison, he was freed in 1978, the investigative magistrate declaring that he was in the impossibility to proceed in the trial. He was later completely exhonorated for attempting to plot a coup.[1][3][4]

Liberal, monarchist, then admirator of Charles de Gaulle, Edgardo Sogno returned to politics only in 1996, as candidate to the Italian Senate, in Cuneo, for the National Alliance (Alleanza Nazionale) party founded by Gianfranco Fini. Failing to be elected, he retired to private life.

In his 1998 memoirs, Sogno revealed how he had visited the CIA station chief in Rome in July 1974 to inform him of his plans for an anti-communist coup. He wrote: "I told him that I was informing him as an ally in the struggle for the freedom of the west and asked him what the attitude of the American government would be," and then: "He answered what I already knew: the United States would have supported any initiative tending to keep the communists out of government."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Edgardo Sogno, Italian resistance fighter and fierce anti-communist, dies". Associated Press. 2000-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Diplomat battled Italian communism". The Globe and Mail. 2000-08-09. 
  3. ^ "Italian plot never existed". The Times. 1978-09-14. 
  4. ^ Angelo Codevilla (1992). "A Second Italian Republic?". Foreign Affairs 73 (3): 146–164. 
  5. ^ Philip Willan, The Guardian, March 26, 2001 Terrorists 'helped by CIA' to stop rise of left in Italy (English)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Guerra senza bandiera. Milan: Rizzoli. 1950. 
  • Due fronti (1998), memoirs ("Two Fronts", two accounts of the Spanish Civil War, one from the Francist side and Sogno, the other from Nino Isaia who took part to the International Brigades) EAN : 9788882700041
  • La grande utopia: I confini delleconomia, della natura, della morale Sugarco (1982) ASIN: B0000ECLR6
  • De Gaulle: La spada appesa al filo Bietti (1997) ISBN 978-88-8248-005-9

See also[edit]