I did not catch the actual liberation of Italy from the Nazis and Fascists in World War II on video, admittedly. But yesterday, on 25 April, the 69th anniversary of that event was commemorated.
Of course Italy was not liberated in one day. The allied troops landed on Sicily on 10 July 1943 and it took them almost two more years to complete their campaign to liberate the rest of Italy, moving northward slowly and under heavy losses. 25 April was chosen as a public holiday because the cities of Milan and Turin in northern Italy were liberated on 25 April 1945.
I attended the official ceremony in Bari, where a wreath was dedicated to the killed partisans. The more you read about the partisans, the more you realize that they would deserve much more creativity to be applied in their commemoration that the same wreath with a ribbon every year.
There were only a few dozen people, half of them soldiers and reporters, who probably didn’t have any other choice. A “Committee for the Defense and the Implementation of the Italian Constitution” handed out leaflets with complicated flow-charts about the reform of the election law.
But then it did turn solemn. Michele Emiliano, the mayor of Bari, intoned the partisans’ anthem Bella Ciao and the small crowd sang the melancholic but beautiful song.
Good thing to have a mayor who can sing. The soldiers however were less inclined to take part in the singing of a song that appreciates partisans fighting outside of a regular military force. Walking home, I was wondering once more why there were fighting resistance groups against the Nazis almost everywhere in Europe, but none in Germany.