With this book the Historical Archives of Banca Intesa celebrate the acquisition of the important, personal files of marquis Massimiliano Majnoni, former member of the head office of Banca Commerciale Italiana (COMIT). Such papers have been digitally stored and can be accessed from our consultation room in Milan.
Massimiliano Majnoni (1894-1957) was born a member of the nobility and had a catholic and liberal mind; he served with the rank of Captain in World War I and received a distinction for gallantry; he was endowed with genuine cultural interests as genealogist and bibliophile. He was a writer of letters and journals, and a banker, having joined COMIT in 1921. From 1935 to 1947 he was in charge of the representative office of Comit in Rome that between 1943 and 1945 became the secret safe house for the newly born political movements and the effective crossroad of the militant anti-fascist underground forces.
The “Max” Majnoni’s fund comes from the precious nobiliary archives of the Majnonis of Lombard roots with prestigious links with the Savoy court and with the Baldovinetti di Poggio of ancient nobility of Tuscany, with merchant traditions; such archives are preserved in a 17th century villa in Marti (near Pisa) and are acknowledged as having important historical interest by the Archives Authority of Tuscany. The decision to acquire this fund has been prompted not only by its rare completeness and sheer wealth but above all by the unique figure cut by marquis Majnoni. Throughout the years between the two World war Majnoni was placed – by birthright or by professional remit – right where the destiny of Italy was decided. From the privileged observatory of the Comit representative office in Rome he was able to comment – in his journals and in his rich correspondence with political figures, intellectuals, aristocrats and economists – on Italian history, on the decline of the fascist regime, on the slow and difficult task of reconstructing the civil and democratic fabric of Italy. Majnoni was not a protagonist: however he must be acknowledged a superior ability in identifying and describing the human characters and the processes being moved, of which he has left us penetrating documents.
His files may be considered a strong case to prove that office papers should be considered activating several, different decoding techniques. Quite often historical facts risk their reduction to cold lists of names, dates and figures if they are not animated by the testimonies not only of the protagonists but also of those that, like Majnoni, have lived and endured them.