Piero Calamandrei (Florence, 21 April 1889 – Florence, 27 September 1956) was an Italian author, jurist, soldier, university professor and politician.
He was one of Italy's leading authorities on the law of civil procedure.
After studies in Pisa and Rome, Calamandrei assumed a professorship at the law school at the University of Messina in 1915.
He fought as a volunteer in the 218th infantry regiment in World War I, rising to the rank of captain, and turning down a further promotion to resume teaching.
In 1918, he resumed teaching at the University of Modena, then went on to teach at the law school in Siena, and finally, in Florence.
His notable works include La cassazione civile (Appellate Review of Civil Judgments) (1920) and Studi sul processo civile (1930).
He also co-founded the journals Rivista di diritto processuale (1924), Il foro toscano (The Tuscan Courts) (1926) and Il Ponte (The Bridge) (1945), and participated in the 1942 revision of the Italian code of civil procedure.
Calamandrei was highly critical of Italian fascism; he signed, for instance, Benedetto Croce's 1925 Manifesto of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals and was linked to the Florentine journal Non mollare! (Don't Give Up!) published between January and October 1925.
After the fall of the fascist regime in 1943, the Allies named him rector of the University of Florence.
He was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1945 and, as a Social Democrat, to the National Assembly in 1948.
On 4 December 1952, Calamandrei also penned the antifascist poem, Lapide ad ignominia ("A monument to ignominy").
The German general Albert Kesselring who was responsible for various war crimes during the Nazi occupation of Italy had been sentenced to death, a sentence that was later commuted.
When Kesselring was freed, he refused to repent for his crimes and claimed the Italians ought to build him a monument for his good work there.
Calamandrei responded with this poem, stating that if Kesselring returned, he would indeed find a monument but one stronger than stone and comprising Italian resistance fighters who "willingly took up arms, to preserve dignity, not to promote hate, and who decided to fight back against the shame and terror of the world." Calamandrei's poem appears in monuments in the towns of Cuneo and Montepulciano.