Browse Items (265 total)

  • Tags: childhood in wartime

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Anna Maria Baccolini (b. 1933) recalls the first bombing of Turin, aimed at the Lingotto industrial area. Describes the impressive sight of the city burning and highlights the effects of nearby hits. Remembers the tender gesture of her father who…

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Renate Rothaler (b. 1937) recounts her wartime experiences in Gotha, where she lived with her mother and sister while her father was drafted. Mentions a bombing in spring 1944 when she watched ‘silver birds’ that soon started to drop bombs, a…

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Paola Giorgina Pasini provides details of her early life in a family of agricultural workers and compares favourably their condition with those living in urban areas. Recalls the ominous sight of target indicators and flares, and remembers Pippo…

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Paolo Bottani recalls wartime memories of a working-class family in Milan. Describes the widespread enthusiasm for the declaration of war, followed by a relatively calm period. Mentions alarms as greeted initially with joy because classes stopped and…

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Lucia Muratori recalls her early life in Bologna in the family of a well-off foundry owner. Stresses that she had less traumatic war experiences compared to many other people at that time, the only disturbing episode being eye-witnessing the killing…

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Fausta Maggioni recalls memories of her wartime life in Milan. She describes a sizeable shelter reinforced with wooden props, a little bag with the few valuables she had always to bring along, as well as the many duties of her father as warden, who…

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Teresa Messali gives a brief account of her pre-war life with her large family in a farmhouse near Bergamo. She mentions Pippo; describes the pressing need to find shelter during the bombings and stresses how she frequently resorted to ditches.…

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Ada Dellaferrera (b. 1928) recalls aircraft strafing the railway station and how she tried to hide next to a wall. Remembers when her mother sent her out in the blackout and the fear of the dark she has had ever since.

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Mafalda De Luca (b. 1939) recalls how her father moved to Fiume during the D’Annunzio occupation, where he met her mother. Remembers the blackout curtains at the windows and mentions underground shelters. Gives a brief account of a small bomb (or a…

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Carla Griva (b. 1935) describes different attitudes and various coping strategies of people inside a shelter in Turin: reciting the rosary, putting their hands over their ears to avoid listening, storytelling, and asking children to practice…

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Erika Gautsch (b. 1928) describes her wartime experience of being inside a shelter and the people she met there: an old sick man with his wife, who was incessantly reciting the rosary, and children clinging to their mothers. Emphasises tension and…

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Ferdinando Righi recalls his early life in Monfalcone, brought up by his mother while his father served as a submariner. Describes daily life in wartime: how he used to sleep fully clothed, waiting for the air raid siren. His mother would put some…

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Alberto Dini reminisces his wartime life in Trieste starting from the declaration of war until the end of the conflict. Describes life under the bombs, stressing disruption of utilities, devastated streets and chequered schooling history. Describes…

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Rosetta Gobetti (b. 1930) describes the bombing of a marsh near Isola della Scala, describing it as probably target mis-identification. Recalls a more severe bombing which destroyed many houses and killed twenty-eight people. Gives a short…

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Anna Maria Guglielmi (b. 1940) recalls one of the first memories of her childhood when the siren sounded and she found herself in crowded shelter. Describes wartime anecdotes: drinking wine from a demijohn found in the attic, an encounter with two…

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Francesca Marchese (b. 1933) recalls the bombing attacks on Casale Monferrato, mentioning a bridge that survived multiple attacks and was nicknamed ‘The devil’s bridge’. Recollects people used to congregate in a field to watch the bombing of…

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Maria Luisa Verniconi (b. 1930) recalls her youth in wartime, stressing how difficult it was for her mother to look after the family. She recollects adults listening to Radio Londra while the youths were on lookout. She stresses the violent behaviour…

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Itala Coriddi (b. 1928) recalls wartime hardships in the Rome countryside where she lived in a straw hut. Mentions a railway tunnel used as shelter, describes the Anzio landing and recalls looking for shell cases to be used for hiding food. Remembers…

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Patrizia Riviera (b. 1930) gives a brief account of wartime life in Bergamo. Mentions food shortages, fear of bombings, basements used as shelters. Mentions disrupted schooling after the fall from power of the Fascist regime.

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Elena Fornari (b. 1936) mentions the private shelter in her house in Rome and describes daily life under bombing. Recollects the frightening encounter with two German soldiers asking for information about her father.

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Corrado Marenco (b. 1940) describes various wartime anecdotes: a makeshift shelter dug in his garden where he and other children had fun despite the danger of 'Pippo'; how his father had to hide inside the bell tower of a church to escape from German…

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Rosanna Capretta (b. 1935) reminisces about the frightening sound of the sirens and describes how she and her family tried to cope by hugging each other in a corridor. Recalls food shortages, rationing cards, and black market. Describes disrupted…

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Margherita Franco (b. 1934) remembers listening to declaration of war on the radio while her father kept working in the garden. Describes her mother preparing a bag with food and other basic necessities and hanging heavy curtains at the windows as…

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Marta Papotti (b. 1937) remembers the bombings of Turin and how she and her family dashed to the shelter in the basement. Reminisces over the sense of community and describes people reciting the rosary or just chatting. Describes how her father the…

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Gerlinde Keller (b. 1939) was evacuated in 1942 from Munich to the Altmühltal, where she lived with her aunt in a purpose-built settlement. Explains how the intensifying bombings had made the city unsafe for children and how they managed to cope…
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