"Eppure il vento soffia ancora: gli ultimi giorni di Enrico Berlinguer" by Piero Ruzzante and Antonio Martini out with UTET Libri

Eppure il vento soffia ancora: Gli ultimi giorni di Enrico Berlinguer by Piero Ruzzante and Antonio Martini, with UTET Libri.

The last five days of Enrico Berlinguer, the attempt of a historical and personal overview. The chronicle of that moment, when Italian politics changed forever.

June 7th 1984, Piazza dei Frutti in Padua, 10.09 PM. Enrico Berlinguer is giving a very crowded speech. All of a sudden, he is sized by an illness, yet he manages to conclude his speech. Five days later, the secretary of the greatest occidental communist party dies at the civil hospital. It is the end of a dream, for millions of Italians. Among the hundreds of people witnessing the speech, and then waiting at the hospital, is Piero Ruzzante, young activist of the local Fgci. After more than thirty years, Ruzzante retraces those days step by step, from the stage arrangement with the comrades of the youth organization, to the making of the live stream; from the carrying of the secretary to the hotel right after the illness, to the first diagnosis; from the visits of politicians and statesmen – Pertini’s was deeply felt, Craxi’s rather tense – to the end of the agony, and finally to the solemn and wide funeral procession.

Thanks to an impressive collection of original reports and archival documents, Ruzzante merges the chronicle of those tragic days and Berlinguer’s crucial role in the politics of his days, in Italy and elsewhere: the great social battles, the DC-PCI agreement and the moral issue, the relations with the Soviet Union, the strong bond with the working class, the alleged and failed assassination attempts and the tension with the socialists. Next to the political side lies the personal one, showing a decent man, so grave and humble he was defined sad, loved by his comrades and respected by his opponents, crushed at last by a stoic will that always prevented him from avoiding his duties, from being indifferent to the last’s claims.

That day in Piazza dei Frutti a crucial phase of Italian politics ended, but Berlinguer’s beliefs and ethical conduct continued to be an inspiration for many. Telling his story is no mere exercise of reminiscence, but a necessary act, ensuring that wind to keep blowing.

Piero Ruzzante

municipal council member in Padua, regional council member in Veneto, was twice elected MP in the Chamber of Deputies. He now studies history and this is his first published book.

Antonio Martini

publicist, he worked in political and institutional communication. He is currently in charge of Padua’s Cgil press department.