Woman of the Italian Resistance

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by Caroline Wright, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Now the women, here are two to be going on with, both non-Italians living in Italy (please don't read anything into that fact, whoever reads this)...:

    Anglo-american Marchesa Iris Origo

    This is what war correspondent Eric Linklater wrote on the dust cover of her book 'War in the Val d'Orcia, published in the USA in 1984

    The Marchesa and her husband, with intelligence and resolution for their weapons, fought a private war for humanity, and that hidden war was also waged by many hundreds of simple Italian peasants who, at the risk of their lives, gave food and clothing to poor strangers----escaped Allied POWs - for no political cause or ideology, but in charity and pure compassion. (Eric Linklater)

    Maltese widow of British extraction Henrietta Chevalier
    One of her 'guests' was SAS sergeant Horace Stokes

    Iris was certainly not part of the 'organised resistance'. Linklater had got it right. I was a guest speaker on her estate at La Foce this July, when the daughter of an American serviceman she had helped was making a presentation.

    Henrietta was, in that she was involved with the Rome Escape Line.

  2. Alisonmallen

    Alisonmallen Well-Known Member

    I have not doubted your knowledge but my protest was purely your comment warning us not to look through ‘Rose hued’ spectacles which was offensive particularly as the info I added was a first hand account. I have no more to add to this and am disappointed in the arrogant response. Good luck with your book.
  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I have sent you a private message, Alison.

  4. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    An example of two women, mother and daughter, who helped some South African escapers, one of whom went on to found the 'Red Socks 'movement:

    In 2016 Professor Giuseppe Zucca of Castello d'Agogna near Mortara in Northen Italy wrote about what happened to the young prisoners of war who had been working on the area's rice farms up to the armistice of 8 September 1943. Three of them were hidden by his family until they managed to escape to Swizerland. He says:

    'This motivation for writing this book arises from an event that took place over 70 years ago in which my mother was a protagonist when, in September 1943, during the chaotic days that followed the signing of Italian Armistice, she encountered some South African escapers from the work detachment of a prisoner of war camp which was based on the Confallonera farm at Ferrera Erbognone. Giovanna Freddi and her family, like thousands of other Italians, helped those young escapers who found themselves in considerable danger, hid them at great risk, fed them, and helped them reach the Swiss border, thereby guaranteeing their freedom.'

    One of these prisoners, 5368 Private Sidney Feinson, of the Umvoti Mounted Rifles, had been contacted by an organisation which arranged escapes to Switzerland through the offices of the priest of Ferrera Erbognone. He went by car from Ferrera to Milan on 15 November 1943 and from there to within two kilometres of the Swiss border at Chiasso. He didn't know the name or other details of the organisation. On his return to South Africa he set up the 'Red Socks' movement and gave interviews to journalists and reporters, to whom he repeatedly recounted his extraordinary adventures and those of 'Giovanna a young Italian woman, and a priest, whom he believed had saved his life by taking great risks'.

    Giuseppe continues:
    'Once, when as an adult I asked my mother if she had realised what danger she was running during those dramatic days, her reply was as follows: 'Of course I realised, but there was nothing else I could do. What would you would have done?" This question could be put to all of us, today, and is worthy of an answer: "Yes indeed, what would we have done?"

    Vitellino Sidney Feinson.jpg feinson letter.jpg freddi family certificate.jpg
    Tricky Dicky likes this.

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