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EDITORIAL
from issue no. 09 - 2007

Il Popolo underground


To get a newspaper kiosk was and is still more than difficult (the same can be said of pharmacies). The owners have a very important role in circulation (for the official sheets they enjoy a notable share of the takings). For small circulation publications one puts ones trust in the benevolence of individuals


Giulio Andreotti


Giovanni Battista Montini with Guido Gonella (first from the right) and others, in Saint Peter’s Square

Giovanni Battista Montini with Guido Gonella (first from the right) and others, in Saint Peter’s Square

It was Monsignor Montini, who knew me from the Italian Federation of Catholic University Students (FUCI), who advised De Gasperi to enlist me in the Christian Democrat Party. He put me in contact with Guido Gonella, who directed Il Popolo, an underground edition, at the religious press of the Poor Clare Fathers, where Azione Fucina was printed. The editorial meetings were held at the home of Giovanni Sangiorgi, beside the entry into the Vatican, on Via di Porta Angelica.
With great (almost reckless) courage, Luciana Segreto came with the files of possible collaborators, taken from the lists of Catholic graduates. If they had finished in the hands of the police they would have been in trouble, though blameless.
The Hon. De Gasperi regularly provided the leading article. He was always very precise in correcting proofs, two or more times.
With a certain naivety, the types were the same as the Fucina periodical; until the ambassador to the Holy See went to the Secretariat of State to ask them to warn us not to leave fingerprints. When Aldo Moro joined the team, we had to arrange about proof-reading. He would go over them as many as three times, always with emendations that were not marginal.
Obviously, the distribution of the newspaper was brevi manu, profiting from the comprehension of doormen and office clerks. There was also a confidential exchange with the publications of the other political forces (beginning with l’Unità). Like the newspapers of the other parties, we were underground, using doormen, parishes and convents for circulation.
There was considerable interest surrounding this underground publication; with exceptional confidential distribution at newspaper kiosks, under the auspices of the owners. Pickets and dosers with castor (or motor) oil often hung around to punish the underground people.
To get a newspaper kiosk was and is still more than difficult (the same can be said of pharmacies). The owners have a very important role in circulation (for the official sheets they enjoy a notable share of the takings).
For small circulation publications one puts ones trust in the benevolence of individuals.


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