A blog from World War 2

April 29, 1945

Today in the newspaper I read that all men who’ve returned from Germany can go to Venice’s military precinct where they’ll be paid for the time they were away in Germany. Me and a man from Rome go to Venice, which is nearby. We arrive in Venice and go to the precinct. Here, I tell them the Germans captured me on the island of Crete, that I was a Sergeant. They ask me when I was made Corporal, when I was made Corporal-Major, and finally Sergeant. I give them precise details, they take my name and my friend’s name. I’ve been using a fake name since I arrived in Innsbruck for fear that I might’ve been tracked down by my factory boss from Munich. As soon as I reached Innsbruck, I ripped up anything that had my name on it and used a fake name: Carmine Ullucci, based on my wife’s name. I made it all the way to Rome with this name. That night, we’re called to the precinct, they give me 24,450 lira and my friend is given about 15,000 lira. We head to Piazza Roma to catch the bus to Carpenedo, but the last bus has already left. We go back to the city to find a place to spend the night. We come upon the Italian Red Cross barracks.

We ask if we can sleep there for the night, they tell us they have no beds left, but we insist so they let us in. I realize there are very few soldiers inside, most of the people are Neapolitan shirkers who spend all day eating, drinking, and playing cards. We go upstairs where there’s a room full of beds that nobody occupies at night. Upon seeing this, we decide to stay there every night and nobody says a word to us.

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