By Pietro Arrigoni.
Pietro is a grade 12 student at KSS and with his family is a member of KCIC.
Since this year isn’t going to be one filled with public celebrations and parades, I decided to have a deeper look at special days that define our country and the history behind them. Coming up on April 25th is the Liberation’s Day of Italy, a national holiday that celebrates the liberation of Italy from the Fascist regime and the Nazi troops.
During World War 2, Italy was led by the Fascist party of Benito Mussolini and, because of its alliance with Germany during the war, was helped by Nazi troops that stayed on its territory for protection after the armistice on September 8th, 1943.
Similarly to what will happen in America during the war of Vietnam years later, the people of Italy began to grow sick and tired of the war and a “Resistenza” (resistance) was created in 1943. Made up of mostly young people called “Partigiani”, the Resistenza and its actions were deemed illegal, which caused a proper civil war between the fascist army and the Partigiani.
During these years of civil war, families and friends turned into enemies because of their different beliefs and many deaths occured because of the split emotions of our population.
Despite all the efforts made by the military and the government to stop the Resistenza, the Partigiani were able to keep working secretly behind the backs of the fascists to keep their activities going, especially in the middle regions of Italy where the Linea Gotica (gothic line) was drawn.
As the years of war went along, Germany and Italy suffered great losses and lost many troops. Eventually, the Partigiani supporting the Allies troops, which were fighting hard to free our country from Sicily to the north, were able to free every city in the country and chase many fascists out of Italy. This was the beginning of something new for Italy because a year after, in June 1946, Italy became a Republic and our Constitution was written. As one of our greatest President, Sandro Pertini said, “La Costituzione e’ un buon documento; ma spetta ancora a noi fare in modo che certi articoli non rimangano lettera morta, inchiostro sulla carta. In questo senso la Resistenza continua” meaning that the Constitution is a good tool, but that we need to keep fighting in order to make sure it will be properly applied.
The significance of the efforts by the Partigiani and the importance of the Resistenza are allocated in the many books published in the years following the Liberation of Italy and the assassination of Benito Mussolini. These books were written by those who had lived through the civil war and the events and experiences they had during those times inspired them to write these books. Writers such as Cesare Pavese, Beppe Fenoglio, Italo Calvino, Elio Vittorini, Elsa Morante and many others, described the life of the Partigiani and the war even better than historians.
The “Festa della Liberazione” or “Festa dei Partigiani” becomes an official national holiday a year later. The CLN (Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale) chose April 25th because on that day the city of Milano, where the main command base of the Resistance was located, was finally liberated.