Alcide De Gasperi is one of the founding fathers of the European Union. Valter Mavrič, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Translation at the European Parliament, interviewed one of his four daughters, Maria Romana De Gasperi. This interview, together with many other stories, is available on My House of European History. Visit the website and share your story!
The interview is part of “The View of the Future Shaped by the Past” series produced by the European Parliament’s Translation Service.
Who is Alcide De Gasperi?
Alcide De Gasperi was born in the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige and represented it at the Reichstag in Vienna, while it was still part of Austria (until 1918). He always fought for democracy and against dictatorships, even under the fascist regime, when he paid the price for his ideas with imprisonment.
When Italy became a Republic, in 1946, Alcide served as its first Prime Minister. He contributed to the drafting of the celebrated Italian Constitution, which answered the need to establish a true democracy after the social and political devastation brought about by the fascist regime and the Second World War.
One of his main objectives was to make Italy a primary actor on the international stage and to build a democratic Europe. His efforts resulted in the creation of the Council of Europe and, later, of the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community. Thanks to his work, Italy was included in the Marshall Plan for the post-war reconstruction and joined the NATO.
The interview with Maria Romana De Gasperi
In the interview, Maria Romana shares anecdotes of family and work life, filled with intimate and funny memories, leading to the final moments of her father’s life.
Maria Romana’s tale starts with the admiration she felt for her father as a child. In any discussion to which her father participated, she invariably intervened with “daddy is always right”. When she grew up, she started working with him as an assistant. Her father had persuaded her to study languages and stenography, so that she could accompany him during his travels.
After the end of the Second World War, Maria Romana went with her father to the United States, where he sought help to rebuild the impoverished and destroyed Italy. She was there also when her father met Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer to lay the foundations of a united Europe.
Watch the video of the interview with Maria Romana De Gasperi (available in all 24 official EU languages)!
European Commission (no date) Alcide De Gasperi: an inspired mediator for democracy and freedom in Europe. The Founding Fathers of the EU. [online] Available at: https://europa.eu/european-union/sites/default/files/docs/body/alcide_de_gasperi_en.pdf [Accessed 20 Jul. 2021].
Oxford Reference (2021) Overview. Alcide De Gasperi (1881—1954). [online] Available at: https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095707343 [Accessed 20 Jul. 2021].
Written by Maria Bruno, Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit. She holds a master’s degree in Translation and a bachelor’s degree in Italian Language and Literature. She is trained in websites and social media management, content writing and SEO. Currently, she is studying for her Diplôme Universitaire in Terminology at the University of Savoie-Mont Blanc.