|25 April ANZAC Day - A day we all remember
||[Apr. 25th, 2010|01:33 pm]
I think the spirit of ANZAC Day is to remember what happened. How the wars were won, what hardship people had to endure.
My parents are of Italian descent. Dad was born in Naples and shortly after World War II began, his family moved to Rimini. They didn't last long there as the invasion/occupation of Italy caused their apartment block to be bombed. They all moved to Trieste near the country of Yugoslavia and not far from Austria also.
Trieste is a sea-side city yet is very close to the Alps. Hot summer days and freezing winter nights whipped up with a strong wind caused many a toilet system to get frozen!
Rarely, very rarely did my parents talk about the war. They saw atrocities caused by the German Nazi and they also had a few stories to tell. Today, if you care to, please read on to a few of the stories and think about how damn lucky we are. To be able to be gay, be free, play music or just walk. These stories form part of ANZAC Day for me.
Story one. (From my dad.)
Italians were used as slave labour for the German war movement. Italian Jews were placed into labour/death camps and gentile Italians still worked at factories but for no pay, just basic food rations. These workers were allowed to live at home but had to work at these factories to aid the German war effort. One day, many workers went on strike demanding more food from the German officers. The head German officer called up all the workers and asked who were the ones needing the extra food. The ones who put their hand up were immediately shot. The German officer then said, "Anyone else?"
Story two. (From my mum.)
The allied forces bombed Trieste daily. The Brits at night and the Americans in the daytime. During the air raids, a priest would go from bunker to bunker overseeing the people, looking after their well-being during what was a necessary evil. The allied bombs were strong - so strong in fact that the air blast alone could kill you as it could pick you up and throw you against a wall. My mum saw this priest going from her bunker to another. A bomb explodes nearby and a piece of shrapnel slices off the priests head. The priest was running at the time of shrapnel impact. He kept running for 10 seconds. Running with no head for 10 seconds. My mum was a child when she saw that and relayed that story in her 50's.
Story three. (From my Aunt.)
My aunty worked at a bakery during the war. It was my dad's duty to walk her to and from work every day just to make sure her safety was never compromised. Above the bakery was none other than German nazi head-quarters for the city of Trieste. On the day of liberation by the Americans, bombs, bullets, planes, explosions were going off everywhere. My aunt had started work early BEFORE liberation started. She was stuck at the bakery under nazi head-quarters during liberation. My dad was sent to fetch her. Dodging bullets he found her at the bakery and he grabbed her saying they had to go. My aunt said that all the nazi had left the building - they knew that there were riches - she made my dad go with her up the stairs. They discovered nazi that hung themselves and money and jewells thrown on the floor, paintings that were never packed also. The first room they went to was the kitchen. Food galore, they stuffed their pockets with as much food as possible and ran the hell out before they became casualties of war. 5 years of nazi and mussolini rule made them wanting food above all else. My aunty often says "Damn it - had I gone for the jewells I could've eaten as much as I wanted after selling them!" My aunty married an American liberator who, funnily enough, had a Russian surname.
Lest we forget ALL people who suffered during ANY war.