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  • September 23, 1943

    Casale di Carinola German soldiers with machine guns are positioned on all the streets of Casale. At around 8:00, a loudspeaker announces that all the townsmen must meet in the main square for a German official’s speech. Upon arriving in the square, we realize that we are surrounded on all sides. Our ID cards are […]

  • September 24, 1943

    They load us into trucks again and we are taken to the Sparanise train station. Here, they load us into cattle cars. There are men from Casale, Carinola, San Donato, San Ruosi, and Ventaroli. They close the doors and there is no way out. We depart that same night. We are covered in sweat and […]

  • September 26, 1943

    We’re at the Verona train station. I tried to escape. I stepped out on the opposite side of the tracks and tried to climb into a freight train that was at the station. I heard a shout behind me and saw a German with his rifle pointed straight at me. I immediately stepped back into […]

  • September 30, 1943

    We’ve arrived in Munich. It’s night, they take us to a grand hotel. Here, we exchanged some of our Italian money for German Marks. We bought some beer. At night we had to sleep on wood planks on the stage of a theater. We were taken to the employment office. People come to collect us […]

  • October 1, 1943

    Donato Russo and I went to work today.  We unload apples, cucumbers, and vegetables from Italian freight cars. At night, we go back to our dormitory. The only thing we eat here is “suppe”: warm water with wheat bran and not a bit of seasoning. At 20:00 we must take an obligatory shower, and at […]

  • October 20, 1943

    I’ve started to learn my way around, so they no longer accompany us. I’ve begun making friends with the shopkeepers located along the road from the dormitory to the warehouse we work in. I secretly take a bag of apples or onions from the warehouse or the freight trains and give them to one shop, […]

  • November 8, 1943

    As I leave the restaurant where I was eating, I run into some Carabinieri (translator’s note: Italian military police) in uniform. They are cleaning the city streets with carts, pushing them by hand like donkeys. They told me they were captured in Rome. I set a meeting time with them for the next day and […]

  • November 15, 1943

    I went to the black market today. I ran into Silvio Grassini from Roccamonfina. I produced sulfured cherries for him from 1938 to 1943.  I bought a coat from him.  The first snow has already fallen.

  • November 20, 1943

    Today I found other men from Carinola and San Donato. They gave me their address: Lager B.M.W., seven kilometers outside of Munich.

  • November 22, 1943

    I bought an 8 kg jar of honey from a German. I took it Lager B.M.W. and sold it to Guido Garofalo and Ermelindo Cirelli, I made 15 Marks. They resell it in smaller jars to the Dutch who are in the same Lager. I continue to go to the black market, located in the […]

  • November 26, 1943

    I ran into Antonio Martulli, who worked at Carinola’s town hall, I gave him a ration card for two kilograms of bread.

  • December 6, 1943

    Today, a woman who works at the Deutsch Kaiser Hotel, opposite the central train station of Munich (Munich has three train stations), came to our place of work. She talks to my boss, they look at me, then I load a crate of apples on her three-wheeled scooter and she leaves. Later, a man comes […]

  • December 8, 1943

    We’re unloading cabbages from the freight train onto the trucks when I slip and hurt my leg. Once the truck is loaded, we go back into the warehouse. As soon as the boss notices I’m injured, he calls in an Italian who speaks German. He asks if I want to go work at a hotel. […]

  • December 9, 1943

    The hotel is very big and over one hundred people work here. It’s across the street from the central train station. I’ve been assigned to work the dishwashing machine. I’m pleased with this job, but I wish I had news about my wife and my two small children, especially Marina who is only 8 months […]

  • December 15, 1943

    The hotel manager calls me and says I have to go to the employment office. There, I’m told I can no longer work at the hotel but must go back to my old job. I show them my wounded leg, it hasn’t healed yet and is still scabbed. Upon seeing this, they give me some […]

  • December 16, 1943

    Last night there was heavy bombing. We ran to the basement, the siren stopped after an hour.

  • December 17, 1943

    I went to Rockinger Factory where Agostino La Torre, Ciccillo D’Angelo, Pasquale Traglia, and Mario Tutone work.  Mario is an evacuee from Naples, his family is staying with Filippo Trabucco, the blind man, in Casale.  When the men from Casale saw me they were very happy. I’m assigned to work at a machine that pierces […]

  • December 24, 1943

    Christmas Eve, but this is no Christmas for me, just immense sadness. Yesterday I told Agostino to come see me in Munich and to bring a bag with him. Agostino arrived punctually. I take him with me along the road I used to walk when I worked for the produce merchant. On this road there […]

  • Christmas 1943

    For me today is like any other day, a bleak day. I cannot keep back the tears when I think of my wife and my kids who are alone without my moral and material support- what despair!

  • New Year 1944

    Today is another sad day like Christmas. I’d rather not remember the holidays, it’s nothing but suffering for me.

  • January 6, 1944

    Yesterday I went to the Lager where the men from Carinola, San Donato, and environs live. I brought them another jar of honey, which they re-sell to the Dutch, who were also deported by the Germans like us. The Dutch are very nice people.

  • January 10, 1944

    Last night while we were sleeping, the siren woke us up. We ran to the dormitory’s basement, after an hour we were able to go back up into the dormitory. There is no damage inside, but outside we can hear the excavators digging amidst rubble and corpses, and firemen trying to put out fires. I’m […]

  • January 18, 1944

    Today I went to Lager Fasanerie-Nord where I see Agostino, Ciccillo, Traglia, and Mario Tutone, the Neapolitan evacuee whose wife and family live in Casale. Mario is an intelligent and good man, he proposes we try to escape but I tell him it’s not time yet. I spend the day with them and return to […]

  • January 24, 1944

    I’ve returned from work and feel ill, very ill. At 20:00 it’s time for the obligatory shower, but I cannot even move so I stay put. Everyone goes into the dining hall after taking their showers and they eat the usual suppe, but I don’t touch it. My head is burning up, we go to […]

  • January 27, 1944

    The Lager guard comes in and says that if I don’t leave he will call the police. Agostino speaks (or rather has someone speak) to our boss Rockinger about my situation. He says he couldn’t care less. So I have to leave the Lager and go back to Munich. I take the tram to the […]

  • January 28, 1944

    I’m able to get up, I’m feeling much better.

  • January 29, 1944

    Bombs fell last night, all the patients who aren’t seriously ill walk down to hospital’s basement. The others, myself included, are taken down to the basement on their cots through a trap door in the hallway. After a few hours we are taken back upstairs again. The bombs were dropped further away. Today, two German […]

  • January 30, 1944

    I asked the nuns for a thermometer, I tell them that when the nurse comes in the morning with the thermometers, I don’t have a fever but in the afternoon I do. They immediately give me a thermometer.

  • January 31, 1944

    There’s snow outside and it continues to fall, but it’s warm inside. I want to stay here until this damn war is over. I’ve come up with a plan: with the thermometer the nuns gave me, I go into the bathroom and place it on the radiator until it reaches 39°C then I hide it […]

  • February 2, 1944

    This morning, the nuns came and held Mass in the hospital. They sang the same songs we used to sing with Father Pasquale Ruosi in the church of Casale. I couldn’t hold back the tears. After Mass, I felt tired and had to rest. In the afternoon I felt better.

  • February 5, 1944

    Today, Mario Tutone came to visit and later in the day, so did Agostino and Ciccillo. They say I look healthy. I tell them the thermometer story and they have a good laugh.

  • February 12, 1944

    The hidden thermometer trick is still working. There are two nurses: one is a simpleton, and the other seems more clever. They alternate days. Today I had a visit from an Italian woman married to a German, Mrs. Porri and another Italian woman. They bring me newspapers in which I hope to read about the […]

  • February 13, 1944

    Tonight, Agostino and Ciccillo came to visit again, they ask about the thermometer. I tell them it’s hidden in my bed with a 38.5°C temperature. By now I’ve recovered completely but I don’t want to go back to the factory, the boss is so cruel to us Italians that amongst ourselves we call him “the […]

  • February 17, 1944

    This morning the clever nurse is on duty. He comes in, hands me the thermometer and leaves. When he comes to retrieve it, he looks at it and looks at me, then shakes down the thermometer, gives it to me and stands there. After five minutes, he takes back the thermometer and calls me “schurke” […]

  • February 18, 1944

    I leave the hospital after 18 days of rest.

  • February 25, 1944

    Today I went to the Fascist Headquarters as Mrs. Porri suggested. It’s so cold my bones feel frozen, it’s been snowing continuously for about 20 days. At the Fascist Headquarters, they give me a voucher for a coat, shirt, and underwear, but as they were about to hand over the garments, Mr. Damato, head of […]

  • February 28, 1944

    This morning I went to the police to have my forms stamped, they sign and stamp them without saying a word. So I’m able to stay at Hotel Kreuzbräu (this is the hotel’s name). I have a nice room on the fourth floor with two beds, but since I’m alone, one bed is empty.

  • March 3, 1944

    Today, Mr. Schumann’s wife arrived from Konstanz, she is a nice lady. She lives by Lake Constance, far away from the bombing, and every two or three months, she comes to Munich to see her husband who cannot leave his pharmaceutical job. We ate together and talked about Italy.

  • March 4, 1944

    We are sitting in the hotel, Mr. and Mrs. Schumann and myself, when a young, distinguished looking man sits near us. He hears us speaking Italian and says he’s a French man from Corsica who understands Italian. He says he’s a cinema actor, he even gives us two photographs- one to me, and one to […]

  • March 5, 1944

    I’m in the same company eating dinner at the hotel. The Corsican sits near us and offers us some chocolate. While we’re talking, some friends of Mr. Schumann come in and sit at our table, so the French man and I have to move to another table. While sitting there, another Italian man comes in, […]

  • March 6, 1944

    I went to work this morning, after these days of rest, I feel well. Tonight, Mattiussi, the Corsican, and I ate dinner together. We went to bed at around 10:00, Mattiussi lives in a guesthouse nearby, on Kreuzstrasse 34. The French man and I went to sleep in my room.

  • March 7, 1944

    I go to work and he’s still asleep, I come home at night and we do the same thing: we eat and then go to bed.

  • March 8, 1944

    When I got home from work tonight, the French man was not in the hotel. I eat with Mattiussi, then he goes home to sleep and I sit with the Schumanns a bit. We talk for half an hour then I go to bed, they go to bed very late because they’re afraid of the […]

  • March 13, 1944

    Tonight while I was sleeping, the porter came to warn me about the siren, it’s 21:50. At exactly midnight, the siren went off, we go to the shelter 600 meters from the hotel, there is snow outside. The siren stops at 1:00 and we go home.

  • March 18, 1944

    Saturday, today is the eve of San Giuseppe’s feast day (translator’s note: San Giuseppe’s feast day is Father’s Day in Italy). As usual we left work at midday. Agostino, Ciccillo, and I bought some meat with the Marks we saved up and we go eat at the hotel where I live. While we’re eating, the […]

  • March 19, 1944

    San Giuseppe’s feast day. I go to Fasanerie-Nord as we had agreed yesterday. Agostino is already cooking the meat, I arrive and help them cook. While we’re cooking the macaroni, we see Massimo Desantis come in. We say hello and invite him to eat lunch with us. So on San Giuseppe’s feast day, the four […]

  • March 21, 1944

    Today we go to work like we do on every Monday; Mondays are horrible in Germany! When will this be over? I wrote to my brother in Terni, to my cousins in Rome, to my brother-in-law in Pianosa, begging them all to somehow give my wife news about me.

  • March 23, 1944

    At night we eat at the same place, myself and Mattiussi from Trieste. I ask him if there is a free room at his guesthouse because I pay a lot where I am: 16.40 a week just for the bed.

  • March 24, 1944

    Mattiussi spoke to his landlady, there is a free room at his guesthouse.

  • March 25, 1944

    I gave up my hotel room and went to the guesthouse on Kreuzstrasse 34/1 where Mattiussi stays, I negotiated 36 Marks a month. Our rooms are next door, in the morning whoever wakes up first, wakes the other one up.

  • March 26, 1944

    While we are sleeping, the landlady comes to wake us up: there is an air raid warning. I go to the usual shelter because it’s safe, Mattiussi doesn’t want to go outside in the cold so he goes to the guesthouse basement. There’s 25 centimeters of snow outside and it’s still coming down. After 30 […]

  • March 30, 1944

    The siren goes off again while we’re sleeping, but they didn’t come to Munich this time either.

  • Holy Saturday April 8, 1944

    Agostino, Ciccillo, and I went to Baierbrunn, 15 kilometers outside of Munich where many other men from Casale live: Antonio Aurilio, the Cerbarano brothers, Alfredo Lepore, Felice Taffuri, and many others. They welcomed us happily, we spent the night there with our fellow townsmen.

  • April 9, 1944

    Easter! Christmas passed and Easter has arrived, and I am still far from my dear family without news of them! When will it end?? This morning we went to Mass and at midday we all ate together at a hotel in Baierbrunn. It was a special lunch: two/three potatoes wedges and a soup that should’ve […]

  • The night of April 24, 1944

    The siren goes off, I get up quickly and call for Mattiussi, he’s already getting dressed too. I ask him if he’s coming to the bunker with me and he says he’d rather go to the guesthouse basement. So I put on my coat and run out to the shelter, it’s already full. As soon […]

  • April 27, 1944

    Tonight we slept in the shelter on benches without blankets, it was very cold. By day we wander around looking for a room to rent, but no luck, there are 100,000 people without a roof over their heads now. They certainly devastated this place.

  • April 30, 1944

    It’s very cold in the shelter, we decide to go sleep in the basement of our old guesthouse. We slowly go down there, lighting the way with some candles our landlady gave us. In the basement there are wood beds and bales of hay, it’s much warmer, we use the hay to make ourselves wonderful […]

  • May 2, 1944

    Since we couldn’t find a room to rent, we went, actually we found a place where men of all nationalities are lodged, a sort of shelter but it’s different from the place I was in before. In this shelter there are two Italians: one is from Carinola and one is from Afragola, a man named […]

  • May 15, 1944

    I was given a voucher for: Jacket and pants, shirt, underwear, socks, two handkerchiefs, a pair of shoes, and that’s all.

  • May 18, 1944

    Today Mrs. Schumann came from Konstanz, she went with me to buy the aforementioned items. Thanks to her acquaintances in Munich, I was able to get a nice jacket and pants, even the other items aren’t bad but it was all thanks to this kind woman’s acquaintances. After purchasing these items, we go back to […]

  • May 20, 1944

    When I get home from work tonight, I find out Mattiussi was able to get a permit to return to Italy. I want to also, but how?? I accompany him to the station, I give him a letter and ask if he can mail it to my wife. He says he will, we say goodbye […]

  • May 25, 1944

    It rains all the time, it’s cold. To think that in my town right now it’s so hot you can barely wear clothes, while here I always have to wear a coat. At night, I often go to see the Schumanns, they are very cultured and very kind, it’s a great pleasure to spend a […]

  • June 9, 1944

    As always I work at the same factory, but we’re no longer clearing rubble. The factory has been fixed up as good as new. While we’re working today, the siren went off again, we had to go to the shelter there- if a small bomb were to fall on it, it would easily collapse. It’s […]

  • June 12, 1944

    Munich was heavily bombed, but yet again the bombs fell far from us.

  • June 13, 1944

    At midday Munich was bombed again. More bombs at midnight, bombs were dropped all over Munich, many factories were hit, the trams don’t work, the stations were hit, but thank God nothing hit our area. It’s mid-June and it rains all the time, there’s a high price to pay for sun!

  • June 30, 1944

    It’s still raining, we occasionally see glimpses of the sun on some days. Today it was even cold, we’re still wearing our coats, the weather here is unbelievable!

  • July 11, 1944

    While we’re working, the siren goes off, we run to the factory’s basement. We’re not allowed to go outside or to a shelter, we just have to pray that God saves the factory so we’ll be safe.

  • July 12, 1944

    At midday, I am 10 kilometers outside of Munich for work when the siren went off. The truck driver and I are in the middle of the countryside, there’s not even a ditch. Where will we hide? We crouch behind the truck. After 15 minutes, two antiaircrafts start shooting 500 meters from us. There’s an […]

  • July 13, 1944

    There’s another siren at 9:15. Ten minutes after we reach the shelter, bombs begin falling. We can hear that a nearby factory was hit and a fuel warehouse went up in flames. They were shooting for two consecutive hours, at 11:30 it’s over but one could also say that Munich is over. There are no […]

  • July 14, 1944

    Only a few men come to work, just those who live in Munich. The men from Fasanerie-Nord can’t come because there is no public transportation. A man from Minturno comes in, he somehow managed to get a ride, and he tells us Fasanerie-Nord has been destroyed. All of the barracks collapsed, but miraculously the Italian […]

  • July 16, 1944

    There’s a siren at 9:00. It’s Sunday, I am home. I go to the shelter. A few minutes later, the shooting begins. It ends after a few hours and yet again we are safe, this time they bombed the railway.

  • July 18, 1944

    Another siren, it stops after an hour, they changed their target this time.

  • July 19, 1944

    The siren went off for three hours, bombs were scattered everywhere. Thank God none fell in our area.

  • July 20, 1944

    Another siren, this time Munich was the chosen target but they didn’t drop many bombs.

  • July 21, 1944

    Today, they flew over Munich again and dropped bombs on many areas of the city. The tram tracks, which were already damaged, were further destroyed. At night we eat a plate of potatoes with no seasoning and a plate of warm water called “soup”, then we go to bed.

  • Sunday July 23, 1944

    It has been raining for three days, the sun never shines, what a miserable place! To think that in Casale right now it’s sweltering hot while here I’m wearing a coat. It’s been 10 months since the Germans snatched me, taking me to Germany to work, to be their slave. It’s been 10 months since […]

  • July 24, 1944


  • July 25, 1944

    The siren went off at midnight, we got up and went to the “shelter”, so to speak… even a small bomb would destroy it completely. We keep praying that God will keep us safe from all danger and allow us to return to our families who are far away and desolate! I think about my […]

  • July 31, 1944

    While we’re eating a plate of warm water, the siren goes off. We immediately hear the antiaircraft artillery shooting but no bombs, they must have bombed further away.

  • August 2, 1944


  • August 4, 1944

    It’s been raining for five days and today it’s even cold out. It seems like November, we never get to see any sun. What did we do to deserve this?

  • Sunday August 6, 1944

    Today we finally saw some sun and it was even warm out. I went to Mr. Schumann’s home in the afternoon and we went out for a walk together, since it was sunny. While we’re walking, I saw Domenico Minchella. We say hello and the three of us walked together, we talked with Mr. Schumann […]

  • August 9, 1944

    Yesterday and today were very sunny days, but not for the entire day, that is rare here. Tonight, around 8:00 frightening thunder started, after a few minutes it was pouring rain. At 1:00 in the morning, the siren went off, we got up and ran to the shelter. Luckily it only lasted an hour and […]

  • August 15, 1944

    Today is the Feast of the Assumption. We had to work like we do every day. We’ve finally witnessed what summer is like in Germany, it’s been warm for four days and we’ve even seen the sun. I wonder if my little family celebrated this holy day, I hope they’ve received my letters. I wonder […]

  • August 16, 1944

    The siren goes off at 11:00, we go to the shelter but luckily it’s over by 11:30.

  • August 20, 1944

    It seems summer has begun in Germany, the weather’s nice and warm. While I’m taking a walk, I run into Mariano Desantis, who came from Moosach where he lives. Together, we went to eat at the same hotel I always go to. After, he came to see where I live. Tonight, around 10:30 while we […]

  • August 27, 1944

    Tonight, Agostino, Francesco D’Angelo, and I bought some meat and macaroni with the Marks we had saved up for two weeks. We had them cooked at a hotel near the factory I work in. The macaroni was like glue and the meat was not good. After dinner they had to go back to Fasanerie-Nord, where […]

  • August 29, 1944

    It started raining this morning, it’s now 10:00 at night and it’s still drizzling. It looks like summer has already ended. Even the weather is punishing them!

  • September 2, 1944

    Today I met up with Alberto DeCristofaro for the first time, he showed me the letters he received from his wife saying that all the families of the deportees from Casale are doing well. I hope so, and I hope I will soon be able to embrace my darling wife and kids, that will be […]

  • September 10, 1944

    It’s been almost a year since I’ve had the misfortune of being in Germany, in this damned country. I’ve yet to have the pleasure of receiving a few written lines or news from my darling wife. I pray God allows me to return to my loved ones soon and find them all safe and sound. […]

  • September 11, 1944

    Another siren.

  • September 12, 1944

    Another siren, it lasted two hours but there was no shooting. At 11:00 at night while we’re sleeping, the siren goes off again. After 30 minutes in the shelter it is over. When will this damned war end?

  • September 13, 1944

    At 11:30 the siren goes off for 15 minutes. On the same day at 2:00 it goes off again for 30 minutes, they were in the vicinity of Munich.

  • September 22, 1944

    While we’re eating the siren went off, we go to the shelter and were there for less than 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, all hell broke loose for an hour and a half. Thank God no bombs fell near us, but Munich was reduced to shreds. Hardly any of the streets have working trams, but […]

  • September 23, 1944

    It’s been a year today! A year apart from my darling wife and dear children. One year ago today, the Germans tore us from our beloved families, while they stood by in tears. I wonder how many tears my poor Carmosina shed after being left alone! I hope I will return soon, so I can […]

  • September 26, 1944

    Winter has arrived, it rains continuously and it’s cold. In the morning we wake up at 5:30 (it’s 4:30 Daylight Saving Time) and we don’t get out of work till 6:30 when it’s already dark. I am beyond tired of this. If I didn’t love my wife and kids so much, I wouldn’t be able […]

  • October 3, 1944

    The siren went off again today but not for long.

  • October 4, 1944

    The siren went off at 10:30, it was over by 11:15. At 11:30 the siren went off again and this one wasn’t like the last one. The shooting started after 5 minutes. We’re in the basement as usual, while they were bombing I feel asleep. At 1:10 it was all over and we went out […]

  • October 5, 1944

    The men from Fasanerie-Nord didn’t come to work today. Apparently the bombs were efficient because the station, which has been hit many times before, was reduced to a pile of rubble this time. Tracks and train cars are scattered everywhere. These American aviators have very good aim.

  • October 8, 1944

    It’s cold, it seems like winter here. Back in Casale it’s still summer, you can go out without a coat and there is fruit on all the trees. Actually, this is the best month of the year because there are figs and many other kinds of fruit. And here? What a miserable life! Here there […]

  • October 9, 1944

    At 10:30 the siren went off, it stopped after 20 minutes. We survived this time too, I pray the good Lord will keep me safe from all harm. Not for me or my life, because by now I am sick of living like this, but for my wife and my kids. What would happen to […]

  • October 15, 1944

    Today, all the Italians who were living at Fasanerie-Nord and who work at Rockinger factory, where I myself also work, were forced to come live in Munich in a school near where I live. This change of residence was the result of the intense bombing occurring in Munich. The bombs almost always hit the railway, […]

  • Monday October 16, 1944

    The siren went off at 11:30, at 11:40 they made us go back to work before the siren had stopped. As I said: “Our factory boss is frantic to make us work as much as possible”. This must come to an end sooner or later, I hope sooner. Greece has been liberated and the capital […]

  • October 20, 1944

    While we are working, the siren goes off so we leave. In our sector, the machines are so loud it’s hard to hear the siren. We go to the shelter at 11:45 and come back out at 1:30, when the siren has stopped. After 10 minutes the siren goes off again and ends at 2:00. […]

  • October 25, 1944

    This morning, after 30 minutes of work, I hurt my left hand. It was nothing serious but for me it was because I hope to get 20 days off of work. I am fed up with this miserable existence. 13 months away from my loved ones in a wretched land where all that exists is […]

  • October 27, 1944

    The siren went off again today. After a few hours it stopped but then went off again. It went on and off all day.

  • October 29, 1944

    At 11:00 the siren stopped and at 12:30 bombs were dropped on Munich, but not many.

  • October 31, 1944

    Yet again, we heard the siren on and off continuously today along with the artillery nearby, I hope the end of this damned war is near. I’m on sick leave right now, I don’t have to wake up early anymore. But what good is it? I’m still far from my loved ones, I’m still aching […]

  • November 3, 1944

    At 11:00 the siren went off and ended at 12:30. It went off again at 1:00 and ended at 1:30.

  • November 4, 1944

    At 11:30 the siren went off and ended at 1:00. At 1:45 it went off again and ended at 2:00.

  • November 8, 1944

    The first snow fell tonight, it’s very cold now. I can’t keep track of all the sirens anymore, there’s a pre-raid siren and siren at least three or four times a day, they usually happen at the same time.

  • November 12, 1944

    Much to my disappointment, my wounded hand has healed so I had to go back to work this morning. It’s been snowing for five days, it’s unbearably cold, we have to walk through 25 centimeters of snow. We leave at 5:30 in the morning and do not get home until 6:30 at night. What a […]

  • November 17, 1944

    It is no longer snowing but it’s still cold. This year feels much colder than last year, it’s mid-November and it has already snowed for 10 days, who knows what the next months will be like! The siren goes off every day at least four or fives times, I pray the good Lord will keep […]

  • Sunday November 19, 1944

    Today, after an entire week of work, I was on duty at the factory. Tomorrow, Monday, another workweek begins which is more suffering for us. Will this damned war ever end? Since November 1st, the bombings of Munich and its environs have increased, since November 1st we’ve only had two days of respite: November 13th […]

  • November 25, 1944

    Today at the black market, a meeting place for fellow townsmen from all over Munich, I ran into Achille Verrengia and Stefano Torrico. They told me they knew for a fact that Fortunato from San Donato, who was with Achille, had reached his home; he was sent back to Italy on June 11th because he […]

  • Sunday November 26, 1944

    The siren went off continuously all day. At night, Ciccillo D’Angelo, Agostino LaTorre, Fossio Di Bernardo from Frattamaggiore, and I went to a café in Marienplatz to drink some wine. Yesterday I bought pizza thanks to some of the acquaintances I’ve made after living in Munich for 14 months. But since my friends have always […]

  • November 27, 1944

    While we were sleeping, we heard the siren go off. We run down to the shelter and soon after the bombs start falling, one bomb even made our shelter tremble. The nuns are praying, I hope their prayers are heard so we’ll all survive and be able to return to our loved ones who await […]

  • November 30, 1944

    Last night at 4:30, the siren went off again and we ran to the shelter, it was over by 6:00. We’re told they bombed the area around Munich.

  • December 1, 1944

    The siren went off at 1:30 this afternoon, it was over by 2:45. They didn’t target the city, but the pre-raid siren was going off all day. I don’t feel well. I asked if I could see a doctor, at 5:00 the boss let me go.

  • December 2, 1944

    Last night I had a fever and I still do, but it’s not a high fever. Tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor. I’d really like to run away, I’m going to try in the next few days. I cannot take this anymore!

  • December 4, 1944

    Today I went to the doctor. She’s a doctor who speaks Italian well, some friends suggested I see her because they say she’s very good. Unfortunately, I discovered this wasn’t so. They led me to believe she would sign repatriation papers for me but instead she only gave me four days of rest. Oh, these […]

  • December 5, 1944

    Today I feel better, my fever is gone. It snowed last night but it’s not as cold as it was in November. Yesterday, Vincenzo Liberti from Carinola received a letter from his wife Lucrezia Andolfi, who lives in Casale. I hope to receive a letter from my darling wife for Christmas. Every day, two, three, […]

  • December 8, 1944

    Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. For me, it’s a day like any other, we worked. I hope my family celebrated this holy day and that they have everything they need.

  • December 17, 1944

    The siren goes off continuously, there is no peace. Last night, the third siren wasn’t like the ones earlier in the day. While we were in the shelter, we heard constant shooting, then a bomb fell about 10 meters away and the shelter shook violently. When the shooting stopped, we went outside: we could see […]

  • December 18, 1944

    As usual, we had to go to work at the factory. We leave home at 6:15 and it’s bitterly cold outside. We reach the factory and it too has been damaged, but only slightly. We can’t do much because there is no electricity, perhaps the power plant was bombed, but we are obliged to stay […]

  • December 23, 1944

    Today we got out of work at 1:00 and are on vacation until Tuesday. They gave us lots of money, but what will I do with it? They gave us an extra week’s pay, a total of 44 Marks plus a 20 Mark bonus, plus the regular pay. In all, it was 110 Marks. Do […]

  • December 24, 1944 Christmas Eve

    I took a walk around the city. I went to visit Mr. Schumann to see if he was all right after Sunday night’s bombing. But he wasn’t there because the hotel was destroyed by bombs on Sunday December 17th. So he had no place to stay and went to Konstanz where his wife lives. He’d […]

  • December 25, 1944 Christmas

    This is the second Christmas I’ve spent apart from my family. Last night, the nuns who run the place I’m staying in made some sweets for us. At midnight, we went to Mass with said nuns in a private chapel where a priest celebrated the holy mass. At noon we had the same lunch as […]

  • December 26, 1944

    This morning, Agostino, Vincenzo Liberti from Carinola, and I took a stroll around Munich. It’s horrifying. Rubble everywhere but they’re still bombing. We went back home around midday. Even though the weather’s been nice and sunny for three days, it’s still freezing out. We are a few steps from home when the siren goes off. […]

  • December 27, 1944

    We went back to work this morning, our suffering has begun again: we get up when it’s still dark out and we return home when it’s dark. It’s freezing cold out. We’re working at the machines again because electricity has been restored, what a pity! Christmas of 1944 has come and gone! Let’s hope Easter […]

  • Saturday December 30, 1944

    Today wasn’t like the other Saturdays. Since I’ve been in Germany, we’ve always had half of Saturday and all of Sunday off, but today they made us work the entire day and tomorrow on Sunday, New Year’s Eve, we have to work until noon. This is how our year will come to an end. After […]

  • Sunday December 31, 1944

    As I said, we had to go to work this morning too. It’s snowing and freezing out. At noon we went home to eat. Today we had a special New Year’s Eve lunch: potatoes. And tonight we’ll have kartoffel, but let’s not forget the famous appetizer: warm-water soup! I recall the wonderful Saint Sylvester feast […]

  • January 1, 1945!

    Today is New Year’s It’s the second New Year’s I’ve spent in Germany. I hope this new year will bring peace and I hope the good Lord will open the minds of those responsible for all this suffering and sadness, so that the long-awaited day of peace will arrive soon and all the survivors of […]

  • January 6, 1945 Epiphany

    We worked half a day like we do every Saturday. It’s unbearably cold out. Last year I was less equipped with clothing yet I wasn’t as cold as I am this year, even though I have better clothes and shoes now. Everyone says it’s extremely cold this year, it snowed for three days straight, it’s […]

  • Sunday January 7, 1945

    The siren has not gone off in Munich since January 1st, except once last Tuesday. I don’t think they’ll attack Munich anymore, perhaps they’ve finished, they’ve completed their task. About 80 percent of the city is destroyed, including the factories. Why would they bother attacking anymore? I hope the Lord keeps us safe from all […]

  • Still Sunday January 7, 1945

    At 7:00 at night, Agostino, Ciccillo, and I went to an eatery in my neighborhood to have them cook up the veal liver and macaroni I purchased yesterday. After eating, we talked a bit about Casale and our ill-fated families, pleading for the end of this inexorable war which is destroying everything! 20 minutes after […]

  • Monday January 8, 1945

    We woke up at around 9:00, the nuns gave us some coffee and a slice of bread, then we began clearing the rubble. Since we did not show up at the factory for work, at 10:00 our boss came to see what was happening, when he saw us all busy working he understood our situation […]

  • Tuesday January 9, 1945

    We’re still all working together on our home. We somewhat fixed up the room where we eat, we’ve placed mattresses in there and that’s where we sleep. At noon, a worker from the factory came and forced us go back to work in the factory, but not all of us.

  • Wednesday January 10, 1945

    This morning we all went to work at the factory, the boss decided that one day the 6 Dutch men will stay home and deal with fixing up the dormitory, then on another day us four Italians plus two Frenchmen would stay home and work. We’re doing all we can to avoid going to the […]

  • Friday January 12, 1945

    Today we Italians and the two Frenchman stayed home. Three Italians stayed in and did repair work while I went out to get the disaster victim documents for all four of us. I went for the four of us since I’d already done it once on April 25th, so I was familiar with the procedure, […]

  • January 15, 1945

    At exactly 12:00 noon, the siren went off. We ran into the basement of the factory, we’re all afraid because we cannot go to a shelter, we’re forced to stay in this damned factory which has already been hit twice, luckily it happened at night. At 1:30 the siren stopped and we went to eat […]

  • January 17, 1945

    Today we four Italians stayed home to work again, we do what we can to get by, we’ve each set up our own lair like foxes. We can still consider ourselves fortunate compared to the men in the lagers, I’ve heard horrible things from Agostino and Ciccillo who’ve lived in the infamous lagers for 16 […]

  • January 18, 1945

    Today, the temperature felt like October. The snow on the ground, which until yesterday was as dry as sand, has begun to melt.

  • January 19, 1945

    The temperature is freezing again. The siren goes off at 11:30, but luckily it ended soon with no mishaps.

  • January 20, 1945

    The siren went off again at noon. It was over by 1:30, thank God they did not attack Munich this time. It’s so odd; as soon as people hear the siren they run like crazy to a shelter while we’re forced to stay in the factory. God help us! Today I took a stroll around […]

  • January 21, 1945

    Today I ran into Paolo Maina at the black market. I often go to said market because it’s the only place where one can see fellow townsmen, plus one can buy anything but at staggering prices. For example: one cigarette costs 3 Marks which is half a day’s pay; a pack of regular Italian tobacco […]

  • January 22, 1945

    All day today I felt a horrible sense of anguish, I’ve never felt anything like this since I’ve been in Germany, in this damned country. May God protect me from a family misfortune.

  • January 25, 1945 St. Paul’s Feast Day

    Today is the feast day of our patron saint, St. Paul. I wonder if they will celebrate this joyous day that we’ve celebrated for years? Perhaps they will celebrate it but only superficially because their hearts are full of pain, not joy. The sadness of hearts that have been waiting for their loved one for […]

  • January 27, 1945

    Today I met with Tommasino, son of Vincenzo Ceraldi from S. Ruosi. He tells me he’s trying to find a way to sneak back to Italy. We agreed to meet on Saturday and go to this place to see if I can flee too. I can’t wait until this damned war is over, this inhumane […]

  • January 31, 1945

    The temperature today felt like April. After a month of continuous snow, the sun, the glorious sun, made its first appearance. The snow in the streets and on the houses has begun to melt. We walk through half a meter of melted snow in the streets, one would need iron boots to keep his feet […]

  • February 3, 1945

    Today I was shocked when I came home from the factory. We realized 4 suitcases were missing from the shelter where we keep them. One was stolen from a Dutch man, one from a French man, and two from another French man. Plus a coat was stolen from a French man, and a pair of […]

  • Sunday February 4, 1945

    The 5 of us robbery victims agreed to go to the police tomorrow and report these criminals, these swindlers who live with us, but I honestly think it’s a waste of time. This isn’t the first robbery in this shelter, within the course of a year there have been four thefts which were even reported […]

  • February 5, 1945

    This morning we robbery victims went to the factory. We asked our boss if we could go to the police to report the theft. At first he was hesitant, but then he let us go. We went to the police, told them what happened, they told us to go home and await their arrival. At […]

  • February 6, 1945

    Today the police came, they took notes but I’m certain I will not see my shoes again.

  • February 8, 1945

    Lots of Italians are being repatriated due to illness. It seems they are being rather lenient about repatriation. Before, being repatriated was like a miracle, it was very difficult, whereas now, every day men are repatriated to Italy, and I’d like to attempt it. This morning I went to the doctor saying my leg hurt, […]

  • February 11, 1945

    This morning, Manfrino Verrengia came by. He said he’s also trying to find a way back to Italy, and perhaps he’ll manage. Tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor again, I want to be sent back to Italy too. I can no longer bear being separated from my wife and children! I hope I can find […]

  • February 12, 1945

    I worked till midday then I asked to go to the doctor. I had him give me a certificate declaring I’m ill and with this I hope to take the first steps toward being repatriated, like many others have. Giovanni Augone has already left, I gave him a note for my wife and I hope […]

  • February 15, 1945

    As we were trying to sleep last night, the siren went off. We got dressed quickly and ran to the shelter. After an hour, it was over, we never even heard one shot. At 1:30, while we were deep in sleep, the siren went off again. We ran back to the shelter again. After 3-4 […]

  • February 16, 1945

    Today I went to the doctor again in hopes of being repatriated. He gave me another certificate that I will use to be examined for repatriation. I asked my factory boss to issue a permit for me, but no luck. Despite the fact that I’ve explained the situation with my wife and children, he did […]

  • Saint Blaise February 22, 1945

    Some friends told me that Manfrino Verrengia left for Italy. He didn’t even come to see me before leaving, but I’m not surprised since I knew him in Casale also. The siren went off again today also.

  • February 23, 1945

    Siren again.

  • February 24, 1945

    The siren went off again. Today, I had just returned from the factory when Domenico Minchella had come to visit, he’s going back to Italy also. I begged him to go to my home, if he manages to make it back soon, and assure my wife that I’m well and that I’ll be home soon […]

  • February 25,1945

    At around 10:00 tonight, the siren went off. We raced to the shelter. After 15 minutes, bombs were dropped. We weren’t as frightened as we were during the January 7th bombing, but we were still scared. It was done after about 2 hours. The good Lord saved us this time too. People died in other […]

  • February 27, 1945

    The siren went off again today. People frantically run to the shelters. It was over after 2 hours.

  • February 28, 1945

    This morning at 10:00 the siren went off, it was over by midday, then the pre-raid siren went off a few times. At 8:00 at night the siren went off again, and again at 10:00, it was essentially a day full of sirens. But thanks to the attackers, there were no bombs… we just never […]

  • March 1, 1945

    The siren went off for about 2 hours today.

  • March 2, 1945

    Like yesterday, the siren went off for about 2 hours.

  • March 3, 1945

    This morning when I stepped outside to go to work, I was astounded to see snow on the ground. After more than a month, the snow and cold temperatures are back, it snowed all day and it was very cold. It feels like January again.

  • The first Sunday of March 1945

    At around 10:00, the siren went off. It’s still snowing, people run frantically in every direction looking for a shelter. We heard on the radio that there are many bomber formations, that’s why everyone is running hastily. We were able to go back home at 11:00, they didn’t come to Munich this time either.

  • March 6, 1945

    Last night while we were deep in sleep, the siren went off. It was midnight, we got dressed quickly and ran to the shelter. After a few hours it was over with no damage, apart from the frigid cold we had to endure upon leaving our warm beds and running outside. There’s snow on the […]

  • March 9, 1945

    The siren went off again today but thank God they didn’t bomb. 10 days have passed since I tried to be repatriated to Italy, I haven’t given up yet but still have not found a way. They want me to die in Germany!

  • March 12, 1945

    Today the siren went off again precisely at noon. The siren always seems to go off at noon. Winter has returned. It has snowed for 10 consecutive days. February was like spring, but now it’s mid-March and we have yet to see the sun, plus it’s cold. I was certain the cold wouldn’t return since […]

  • March 13, 1945

    While we were sleeping last night, the siren went off. It was 11:00 when we heard it, we got dressed quickly and ran to the shelter. It was over after an hour. We hadn’t even fallen back asleep when the siren went off again. We got dressed again and ran to the shelter, it was […]

  • March 14/15, 1945

    Yesterday and today were filled with pre-raid sirens and sirens. But they didn’t come to Munich, they chose other targets. The weather has been lovely these past few days, clear skies and warm temperatures, the snow is gone and it’s no longer cold.

  • March 19, 1945

    The siren went off at 11:20, it ended at 3:40. The siren has never lasted this long since I’ve been in Munich.

  • March 21, 1945

    Siren. It was 11:00 when the siren went off. We’re not allowed to leave the factory and our boss won’t even let us go to the shelter. I managed to sneak out and run to the nearest shelter. The siren stopped at 3:15, when I got back to the factory the others had already eaten […]

  • March 22/23, 1945

    Siren. The sun is still a shining beauty, for those who actually see it, I certainly don’t. The factory is like a cavern, I arrive in the morning and leave at night.

  • March 24, 1945

    At 11:50 the siren goes off. They send us to the factory’s basement, even a rudimentary bomb would make this place collapse. But they won’t let us out, we’re worse off than slaves, whereas workers from other factories are allowed to go wherever they please. I took advantage of the fact that nobody was watching […]

  • Holy Monday 1945

    Tonight, when I got home from work there was finally a letter waiting for me. I picked it up and noticed my handwriting on the envelope. I was confused, I didn’t stop to think that it could’ve been from one of the many letters I sent with return envelopes through the Red Cross of Vienna. […]

  • Holy Tuesday 1945

    I didn’t sleep much last night, I kept waking up. Every time I woke up, I shed some tears and had a knot in my throat. I kept picturing my wife and my dear children. I kept remembering, as if it were yesterday, the summer of 1943, before the Germans dragged me away from my […]

  • Wednesday March 28, 1945

    It’s very cloudy and it’s raining too. Up until Palm Sunday the weather was nice and warm, it hadn’t even been this warm last summer. But since Holy Monday, it’s been drizzling. I’m feeling better now, that angst I was plagued with until yesterday has now subsided. The news from my wife that they are […]

  • Holy Saturday 1945

    Today around noon, while we were working in the usual factory, the siren went off. It ended in an hour, without any damage. We hadn’t heard any pre-raid sirens or sirens in a few weeks, we thought perhaps there had been a summit to end this damn war but sadly that isn’t the case, it’s […]

  • Easter 1945

    This is the second Easter I’ve spent on German soil, the second Easter my dear wife and kids are forced to celebrate without me! These holidays are nothing but a blow to my heart, I’d rather they never come. I wonder what sort of bleak Easter my poor wife had without me. She’s been living […]

  • White Tuesday 1945

    Today we worked like we do every day, and like every other day we ate potatoes with no seasoning, hardly even any salt. Even on Easter we ate potatoes at noon and at night, without any seasoning. Food has become a serious issue: there’s no bread at the black market, and if you manage to […]

  • White Wednesday 1945

    I’m tired of working, I don’t feel well. This morning I asked my boss if I could have a permit to go see a doctor, he wouldn’t give it to me, he said I have to work. I asked him again later, so he sent his sidekick, a man worthy of him who we nicknamed […]

  • April 6, 1945

    Tonight Paolo Schumann came to visit me. He now lives in a small city called Landshut, 70 kilometers outside of Munich. We had a beer together. He practically assured me that the war should be over this month, but I doubt it. I said to him: “It should be over but your fellow Germans are […]

  • April 7, 1945

    Today we had to run to the bomb shelter twice and had to stay inside for 3 hours straight.

  • April 8, 1945

    The siren went off twice. I worry that sooner or later, these surprise attacks will kill us. If it doesn’t end this month, I’ve decided to cut and run. Before, the siren used to go off and then the aircrafts would come. We had time to run somewhere, we had time to go to a […]

  • April 9, 1945

    Last night at exactly midnight the “pre-raid siren” went off, then 2-3 minutes of regular siren, but while the siren was wailing, the bombers dropped their loads. We barely had time to jump out of bed when an explosion shook us. We got dressed and ran to the shelter, but it was pointless. Once we […]

  • April 11, 1945

    After 8 days of rest, I returned to the doctor as he had requested. Naturally, I told him I feel ill and have a fever. He gave me a thermometer and sent me into the usual room alone, so I rubbed and rubbed the thermometer like I did last Wednesday until it showed a fever […]

  • April 13, 1945

    I had just finished eating and was resting in bed when I hear my name being called. I get up and see my factory boss and his sidekick, a cowardly wretch worthy of him. He calls me and says: Tomorrow you have to come to work. I told him the doctor officially gave me days […]

  • April 14, 1945

    I woke up and instead of going to work, as my wretched boss ordered me to, I wandered around the city. I already have everything I need to leave: some bread and a few old undergarments. As I walk toward the small station of Ost Bahnhoff, I run into 6 Italians. I ask where they […]

  • April 15, 1945

    This morning we went to the Italo-German Delegation to see what they tell us. There are 5 of us coming from different parts of Germany. When we reach the Delegation, we’re surprised to see over 300 men there. With this horde of men, it’ll be easy for me to hatch a plot. We begin asking […]

  • 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 […]

  • April 27, 1945

    This morning I went to see the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal, then I went to St. Mark’s Square, the cathedral, and the Bridge of Sighs, so very enchanting!

  • April 28, 1945

    As I walked around the city this morning, I happened upon this woman. She realizes I’m not from Venice and asks me where I’m going. I tell her I’m looking for a place to stay, to take cover until the Front passes. She says she can host me at her home and tells me: “Go […]

  • 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 […]

  • April 30, 1945

    This morning we went to see the cardinal in St. Mark’s Square, he told us about Venice, he asked us if we go to Mass, then he gave me and my friend 100 lira. We also went into St. Mark’s church, how amazing! As we walk around Venice, we see monuments everywhere. Everyone walks in […]

  • May 1, 1945

    As we’re getting dressed this morning, we hear gunshots, the wounded are carried into our barracks. We rush outside and see people running away in every direction, there are men and women wielding all types of weapons and hand grenades. In front of the barracks there are 4-5 Germans who are fenced in. These Germans […]

  • May 2, 1945

    This morning we woke up and went to Piazza Roma. It is full of Allied soldiers, there isn’t a German soldier in sight! The Allied soldiers go to the city unarmed since everything is calm, they go into stores and buy lots of things. I saw some soldiers from New Zealand who looked like giants. […]

  • May 3, 1945

    This morning we went to Piazza Roma to see if there are any buses for Mestre, upon discovering there are, we go back to the barracks and gather the few things we have, then go back to the piazza. We take a bus to Mestre, there is no transportation here so we decide to walk […]

  • May 4, 1945

    We begin walking toward Bologna, a cart passes by so we place the few belongings we have on it and walk beside it. We reach Bologna at around 8:00. We go to the barracks for soldiers where there is a huge line of people at the door. There are hundreds of entire families, thousands who […]

  • May 5, 1945

    This morning we went back to the barracks where the trucks depart from. While getting in line, I see a policeman I seem to recognize, I go up to him and say: Aren’t you they guy who used to work with Vincenzo Verrengia in Casale? He says he is. I ask him how long he’s […]

  • May 6, 1945

    This morning we were in line again to get a number to leave, but yet again we didn’t manage.

  • May 7, 1945

    Back in line at the barracks again, I check the numbers of those who are ahead of me in line and realize that I should be able to leave today too. But as people come out with their departure tickets, I don’t get any closer to the entrance. I realize something’s wrong. I get out […]

  • May 8, 1945

    We go to Rimini by truck, since most of the railways are damaged. From here we take a train- 8 horses, 40 men, almost double the amount but I don’t care, I’d even be happy to travel amidst garbage. At around 1:00 Pasquale Migliozzi and I reach Rome. As soon as we get there, we […]

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