A blog from World War 2

Our Project

Rosanna Del Buono
Italian transcription, English translation, and photos.

Many years ago, while visiting my mother’s hometown in Italy, I learned of this diary written by my grandfather and since then have been fascinated by it. Not only is it a family heirloom, but it’s also a precious historical document which provides a firsthand testimony of life during WWII. I felt apprehensive about sharing such a personal relic with the entire world, but I know this diary has a historical and emotional value that transcends the personal realm. So here it is, from my family’s archive to your computer screens. Enjoy!

Rosanna Del Buono is a first generation Italian-American who works as a professional translator/film subtitler. She is currently based in Rome, Italy.

Nicola “DeeMo” Peressoni
Concept and design.

When Rosanna first told me about her grandfather’s diary, I realized I knew close to nothing about the deportation of Italian workers to Nazi Germany during WWII. Therefore I’ve been asking myself the reason for such a gap in our collective memory. I suppose that after the war, the world opted┬áto turn a blind eye to this and other matters, as the relations between once belligerent nations went back to normal. As if the Italian deportees were spare change in the assessment of the worst human tragedy of the last century. But it’s the single individual stories that add up and convey meaning and depth to the huge overall painting of History. While on the other hand, they are the first to drift into oblivion.

September 23,1943 Oreste Maina is caught up in events that are much bigger than himself. From day one, he feels the need to record his experience in a diary. He writes whenever he can. It’s a task that’s not strictly necessary for his survival, nevertheless it helps him to not lose contact with reality, with himself, with his faraway family that he has no means of reaching. No matter what will happen, that diary has his whole story, and someone one day will read it.

65 years later, millions of individual contributions to the blogosphere exponentially increase the information available online. Blogs (short for weblogs) have become one of the most popular platforms. Anyone can publish a story and have it indexed by search engines.
The story of Oreste Maina is one worth following. It’s as if it were 1943 again, and we are reading it day by day, through his own words, post after post. So we won’t forget.

This project is also dedicated to the loving memory of my grandmother Cesira,
and her war stories that I would listen to for hours when I was a kid.

Nicola “DeeMo” Peressoni is a designer and a communication consultant.
He is currently based in Milan, Italy.

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND