A blog from World War 2

April 16, 1945

This morning I went to the station where hordes of Italians were waiting to be repatriated, I snuck into the crowd and with them I boarded the first train that arrived. I’ve finally reached Brenner. After 20 months, I finally hear Italians speaking. 320 Marks total handed over, they ask for my papers and where I am coming from. I reply precisely without hesitation: I’ve come from Vienna, and not Munich where I actually fled from. Vienna had already been occupied in early April so they have no way of checking up on me. I gave a fake name so that if my boss called Brenner, he wouldn’t be able to track me down. After I finished this interrogation, I immediately looked for the next train Bolzano. They were offering soup for those who wanted to eat, but I skipped the food and got on the train. That same night I arrive in Bolzano. There, in a shelter for men being repatriated from Germany set up by my kind fellow countrymen, I ran into Tommasino Nicoletta, son of Antonella Rua. After we ate and slept there, we both left on a German truck headed for Trento, where we spent the night. The next day, the owner of a truck came to pick us up of his own free will and took us to Bassano del Grappa where they welcomed us joyously. They did the same in Trento and other small towns. What a difference there is between Italians and Germans! Here, we can eat anywhere while in Germany… From Bassano they advise us to go to Vicenza where I’m told they’ll give us clothing but I don’t want to go there, I’m afraid I’ll end up in Fascist hands and consequently in German hands. I want to go where my instinct leads me, not where others tell me. Tommasino insists, actually he begs me to go to Vicenza, but I explain my situation to him. The first truck passes by for said city. After 15 minutes, I also leave Bassano but I am heading to Mestre. We arrive in Mestre, myself and 5 other men (3 of whom are Albanians). It is night, we wait for dawn in the middle of the street. As soon as the first bus for Venice leaves, my travel companions and I head to the city of gondolas. The siren goes off day and night but nobody pays any attention, the streets are packed with people. German soldiers can be seen in all corners of the city, but they know their time in Italy is coming to a close. I read in a newspaper that the Allied Forces have broken through enemy lines in Bologna and are heading toward Rovigo.

1 Comment

  1. silvia:

    wow… will-power is everything and he’s a tough one! great episode Ro.

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