Interview with Inge Nicolis


Interview with Inge Nicolis


Inge Nicolis, the daughter of a Swedish engineer and an Italian woman, reminisces about her wartime experiences in Milan. She stresses the sense of having been thrown into a tragedy and the anguish of not being able to evacuate Milan on the grounds of her nationality. Provides details of her education and her difficult relationships with teachers and her school mates, on the grounds of cultural and religious differences. Describes the practical attitude of her caring and protective father, who was also a warden, and the behaviour of her mother, who was affected by the bombings, near to breaking point and resorted to different coping strategies. Describes everyday life in Milan mentioning civil defence practices, family conversation about ongoing war events, blackout, and her friendly relationships with local Gipsy communities. Provides a vivid account of one of the first bombings she eye-witnessed from the rooftop of her house and contrasts the incident with later attacks, which were much more severe. Reminisces widespread destruction and fear of danger, although tempered by a fatalistic attitude. Describes the atmosphere of horror of the Piazzale Loreto killings (10 August 1944), and later the sight of Benito Mussolini and other senior Fascists on public display at the same spot (29 April 1945). Links the experience of being at the receiving end of the bombing war with her strong pacifist stance and the disposition to side with the underdog.



Temporal Coverage





01:02:06 audio recording


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Alessandro Pesaro, “Interview with Inge Nicolis,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 4, 2024,

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