In April 1949, 12 European countries stipulated the Atlantic Pact, an agreement for mutual defense in case one of the signing countries is attacked from outside. What urged this Atlantic Pact were the fears of a possible military action of the Soviet Union in Europe. The discussions, therefore, naturally assumed a strong ideological characteristic. Also in Italy, the Parliament was a stage of vehement political oppositions. Let us recall the speech of Igino Giordani with regard to the Atlantic Pact and the war, which even got to the point of conceiving a completely new idea like the “International Europe” – worthy to be revived and studied – and which could have undertaken the role of being a source of unity.

“I would start from a principle: every war is a failure of Christians … you very well wrote on the walls of the offices of the Italian Prime Minister: ‘no to war.’ And we agree with this. And you also wrote: ‘land, not war.’ We perfectly agree to this too. Too much land has already been assigned as war cemeteries: it would be good to save it and give it to our workers as farmland.

“Our position allows no doubts. We have a strict commandment that does not allow delays – and so: do not kill! – and war is a homicide: as any war is. I would hold you more in esteem if you condemned all the wars. But when you applauded the war in China… I thought, it’s starting all over again… On the other hand, have you ever met someone who makes war because it is cruel and stupid? Everyone says that they make war for justice. I said that killing in war is homicide. But we know that it is something more, it is deicide because in man we kill the image of God.

And it is also a suicide because through any war, it is the social body, the body of the entire humanity that bleeds to death. But if things are so, why did we get to make the Atlantic Pact. We signed the Atlantic Pact because there is an anti-Atlantic Pact. Also in this matter, one creates a block on one side, and so the other blocks the other side. It is an irrational way to proceed but we do it just the same.”

And, concluding his speech: “… put oneself in the spirit of peace; so reason will really expel the fear under which humanity is really agonizing. The face of man is no longer visible: we hear about many theories, read many figures, and see a lot of movements, etc., but often we forget that it is man who suffers, is limited, tormented and in the end, slaughtered on the battlefields.

All this because we have to go ahead with a policy that periodically makes us recall the massacres for one reason or the other, for the most varied pretexts. We must all react to whatever part of the country we belong, or to any political party or faith we don’t belong to, because it all really has to do with tears under the ugliness accumulated by war and mud. It is a question of rediscovering the face of man, in which the face of God is reflected.”

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