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25 April, Italy celebrates the (divisive) Liberation day (ENG)

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An alternative to mainstream reflection

Today, in Italy, they celebrate the Liberation from Fascism. Mainstream politics and media compel citizens to celebrate this day as a day of unity.

Unfortunately, that is not really the case and the 25th of April endures to be a divisive day.

In the Country, there had been a 2 years civil war and a number of partisans (those who took the path of the mountains to fight the German invasion and the loyalist to the regime) that is much higher of what the official historiography narrates, used their morally privileged position to rape, rob, kill. On some occasions, these demeanours carried on even after the war was over. For example, my great grandfather was shot dead in ’46, after the war was over because he used to work for the state-owned telephone company and somebody was afraid he may have heard about assassinations committed by one of the (several) bandits amongst partisans.

Another day should be chosen to celebrate the unity of the country but this.

The 2nd of June, for example, is the day of the Republic, which celebrates the date Italy became a republic. This happened after a very much debated election, dimmed by proven electoral frauds. But this is another (related) story.

Dr Ruggeri on 'The Long-Term Electoral Legacies of Civil War in Young Democracies: Italy, 1946-1968' | Publications | News and Media

It cannot be disregarded that those are the origins of modern Italy, the country that started a World War on one side and ended up on the other. Plus, those who remained loyal to the wrong idea, the idea of the country they were born and the only they had known, are not even remembered as humans nowadays. They are called in all sort of ways, considered mere criminals, while history recounts very different realities.

Amongst partisans, especially those who turned up to be partisans from the start, and not towards the end of the war -perhaps when the Allies were already in Sicily, there were astounding people, ready to die for an idea. Likewise, amongst those who supported the regime, there were people who hid Jews from the nazis and people who just carried on their work every day, with discipline and a morally intact sense of patriotism, very different from nationalism or extremism of all sorts.

Italians are used to jump the fence, and this is how they are regarded by the rest of the world. However, not all Italians do that. In fact, those who remained loyal (to the wrong idea) live in the memory of the (few) intellectually honest ones. It would be just fair to officially recognise as a civil war what is still considered a Liberation war. An atrocious civil war that opposed siblings in the same families and destroyed lives and relationships for the following decades.

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