Keywords: German-Italian Relationship; Italian Foreign Policy; German Foreign Policy; West Germany; De Gasperi.
The essay focuses on the Italian general elections during the Fifties as seen and assessed in West Germany. The sources of the historical Archive of the German Foreign Ministry highlight how in the Fifties the Italian general elections represented a fundamental element in the elaboration of the Federal Republic of Germany's political attitude towards Italian affairs. For the first German Ambassador in Rome, Clemens von Brentano, the political role of De Gasperi was crucial for the political stability of the country. For this reason, German diplomatic representatives in Italy considered the 1953 elections as vital. The political fall of De Gasperi caused a great deal of concern in the executive circles of Bonn. In the following years the possibility of an opening to the Left, the «apertura a sinistra», was strongly opposed by German representatives. The electoral results of 1958 did not remove from the table the option of a centre-left government; however, they convinced the German diplomacy that the «contradictory» Christian Democratic party was the only one that could guarantee both stability and effective anti-communist action.