CAGLIARI – « Vittorio Emanuele III – Man of his times”: title of the convention held on 3 February in the Cesar’s Hotel, Cagliari and centred on the figure of King Vittorio Emanuele III. A convention that enabled the large audience taking part to revisit the 46 difficult, long years of his reign thanks to the careful report by (OSSML) Prof. Luciano Scalas Cao, with the collaboration of Mr Corrado Maxia.
In the audience, as well as the Deputy Regional Delegate Vicar for Cagliari (OSSML) Noble Cav. Don Alessandro Grondona and Cav. Grand Cr. (OSSML) Noble Cav. Prof. Don Enrico Sanjust of the Barons of Teulada, Member of the Council of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy and Chairman of the Heraldic Commission, many representatives of the Sardinian Delegation of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy, along with representatives from the “Cultural conventions Blessed Maria Cristina of Savoy” and the Chairwoman of the Cagliari Delegation Ms Donatella Cortese Gavassino.
The path chosen by the speaker, without excluding any aspect related to the darkest, most debated aspects of his reign, gave an extremely precise description of both the most dramatic stages and those full of human and social value. One that enabled a full, realistic portrait of the King, of a man “of his times”, profoundly tied to that Country to which he had always dedicated all his activities and efforts.
As was amply discussed by Prof. Luciano Scalas Cao, as guarantor, King Vittorio Emanuele III always adhered closely to the limits imposed by his role to preserve national unity. Without ever refraining from opposing and criticising those choices that risked taking Italy towards an end that was even more dramatic than the one lived.
From the declaration of the state of siege to the racial laws, including the entire, dark Fascist parable, at every opportunity the King tried to dissuade the political protagonists from travelling a dangerous path. Managing until 1943 to avoid the mass deportations that the Germans were implementing all over Europe and then abrogating the racial laws in 1944 when he was able to exercise legislative powers in full.
In the last dramatic years of his reign, while the allies began the liberation of the peninsula, he finally made a fundamental decision: to move from Rome to Brindisi. It was not an escape, but a farsighted choice that allowed continuity to the State and a legitimization of Italy in the struggle for liberation. Would have the King remained in Rome, he would have also been forced to submit to the Regime; Italy would not have had legitimate counterpart to treat conditions of peace – decidedly more favorable than those reserved for Germany – let alone any chance in preserving first of all its territorial integrity.
Among the initiatives of great international value taken by the King Vittorio Emanuele III, one of the most important was the donation of an head quarter to the International Institute of Agriculture, as of today called FAO, in 1905. During his reign he also approved two measures of great social and national importance: the introduction of both universal male and female suffrage (1912 and 1945).
The report carried out by the Cav. Prof. Adv. Luciano Scalas and by Dr. Adv. Corrado Maxia was therefore extremely important to clarify, thanks to a detailed examination of the historical and institutional context, how the work of King Vittorio Emanuele III was always aimed, in his role as father of the country, to preserve the interests of the nation and as the accusations addressed to him were dictated by the will of different politicians to exonerate themselves and deny any collusions with fascism, making the King a scapegoat, with no conscience of historical truth.