EUMM and the Breda shelter. Local heritage and the memory of the bombing war in a Milan northern district.

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Editors’ note

Federica Lampugnani got in touch with the University of Lincoln during an IBBC Digital Archive presentation at Parco Nord Milan – her dissertation on the bombing war in Milan and its subsequent memorialisation immediately aroused interest. We are delighted to publish a summary of her dissertation in form of a blogpost. Needless to say, we wish Federica every success in her future career.

Federica Lampugnani

The IBCC Digital Archive Team

 

Introduction

This blogpost summarises the findings of my dissertation – EUMM e il bunker Breda. La patrimonializzazione della memoria storica nel Nord Milano (EUMM and the Breda shelter. Turning historical memory into local heritage in a Milan northern district. It was submitted in fulfilment of the Cultural Anthropology programme I attended at Bicocca University in Milan (Italy) from 2016 to 2019.
Its goal is to shed light on the many-faceted memory of the bombing war in a Milan northern district, researched from the standpoint of cultural anthropology. Fieldwork was carried out over two years, from September 2016 to January 2019. The aim was to demonstrate how a certain type of recollection, linked to the memories of the air raids of the Second World War, has been understood, lived, and reinterpreted by different social actors.

 

Post-remembrance

“I am, sadly, extremely pessimistic when people ask me «What will happen when all of you will be dead?». This is despite having spent the last 30 years of my life talking about Auschwitz. I think that a few years after the death of the last of us, the Shoah will initially be a chapter in a history book then a few lines and eventually even that line will disappear”

These were the words of Liliana Segre, lifelong senator (e.g. member of the Italian upper house of parliament) and Auschwitz deportee, who recently voiced her thoughts on Holocaust remembrance.[1] Loss and oblivion seem to pervade modern society. Faced with this sense of looming loss, scholarly enquiry has focused on the way remembrance and post-remembrance can turn memory into cultural heritage. My university background has allowed me to see remembrance from an historical point of view, especially when it comes to analysing Holocaust Remembrance Day and Shoah memorialisation through the lenses of political institutions.[2] With this research I have tried to show how Ecomuseum’s approaches can be framed as an anthropological process hinged on the shelter, which sits at the intersection of symbolical and tangible memories.

 

The shelter

The Breda Factory bomb shelter was built during the Second World War in the Sesto San Giovanni district of Milan. Originally used by workers of the fifth section (aviation), it is now located in what later became «Parco Nord», a vast, managed green space. In 2009, when the EUMM – Urban Metropolitan North Milan Ecomuseum was founded, the shelter was given a second lease of life thanks to the creation of a permanent exhibition. This undertaking is part of a broader landscape of actions carried out by the Ecomuseum in its northern Milan catchment. Their immediate purpose is to foster urban regeneration and the preservation of the collective material and immaterial memory – the overarching aim is to transform them into collective heritage.

Field research has been essential for me. It has indeed allowed to live ethnographically the process of creating cultural heritage from historical memory. My methodology has been Clifford Geertz’s hermeneutical circularity, a respected approach highly influential in the anthropological studies field. According to Geertz, the knowing subject is not a neutral entity, but rather a historically-situated one, shaped by their own culture and knowledge. This circularity brings the subject and the knowing object to a reciprocal interaction.[3] It became clear that my own point of view would be bounded by that. Even more, it would be the locus of a continuous negotiation between mine and other points of view. Within this circularity of knowledge and meaning, the practical aspect of the lived experience was especially relevant. This is influenced by the spatial-corporal data underpinning the incorporation studies of Pierre Bourdieu and Thomas Csordas.[4] I decided to take into account these methodological approaches after multiple visits to the shelter. The emotional and sensorial stimuli, the attention to the use of the body in a closed and hostile environment, plus the atmosphere of a 70-year old underground shelter were the most efficient approaches to communicate bombing war heritage and its contested dimension.

 

The bombing war in Italy

In can be argued that bombing warfare in Milan was predominantly aimed at gaining political advantage by using overwhelming air power and display of force in order to destroy morale and shatter will to fight. “That was a terror raid” commented Harry Irons reminiscing the 24th October 1942 daylight bombing, which concentrated mainly on working-class neighbourhoods and civilian housing, and only secondarily on military targets.[5]

Daylight raid 24th October 1942. Incendiaries falling down on a crowded residential area between Piazza 5 Giornate and the central fresh food market.

“We went through the Alps, and this is what I call a terror raid” Harry Irons reminiscing the 24th October 1942 Daylight raid.This aspect of the war entered dramatically and overwhelmingly in the daily lives of people, emphasizing a sense of collective trauma of the people living in Milan. This can be only marginally captured by official documents and the stories based on these sources – conversely, it can be potently felt by stepping inside the shelter and allowing to be transported by emotions.

What EUMM has been trying to do for years with the aid of the permanent exhibition is to allow visitors to re-live the experience of being at the receiving end of the bombing war, as endured by women and men at the time. In doing so, it creates a shared memory space. The Breda shelter, once framed in this way, does not only represent a place to be looked after and preserved as a relic of a past that is no more. On the contrary, it transforms itself into a memory object able to ‘make the past speak’ and brings it back to the present days.

This has been made possible by different choices. On the one hand, by leaving the space in its original condition: dark and cold, with uncomfortable wooden benches, and the claustrophobia given by a confined space. On the other hand, by recreating some immaterial elements of the past: digital video, or bombing sounds that accompany the visitor’s descent into the shelter.  In this way, memory becomes embedded into a material object and is transported into the present. This leaves the visitor with the feeling of having gone through what they just saw and heard. In a way, the war period is transposed into the present: the present intertwines with a past that seems to re-materialise now.

A further element is the synchronic and diachronic conversation that links place and individuals. Being confined in a dark and inhospitable space whilst hearing war sounds leads us to immediately empathize with those who went through such experiences. This applies to the workers that used the shelter, but also civilians who resorted to cellars or the few public raid shelters set up in Milan and elsewhere in Italy. At the same time, it compels us to engage synchronically with other fellow visitors. They were strangers until the feelings of anxiety, fear and unease kick in.

Another point of my research has been understanding the emotional impact that the shelter has on people. It is so powerful and immediate that it compels visitors to explore their feelings, coming to terms with them, and then discuss with friends and family members. They frequently come back – this process sustains footfall and broadened the scope of this memory preservation exercise.

My research has also involved other bodies operating in the area such as Sesto San Giovanni municipality, the district in which most of the Breda factory was situated. The intent was to understand how a public institution fulfills its responsibility of conserving and perpetuating the memory of the city.

What emerged was the constant dedication to engage with the younger generations by means of workshops and recreational activities. All this takes place within the ongoing process of having the city included in the Unesco World Heritage list in the category of evolving cultural landscape, a procedure which began in September 2010.

The similarities emerged between the Sesto Municipality and EUMM stem from their shared dedication to community engagements, as well as the multi-sensorial, hands-on experiences which were set up in different spaces. This is fostered by an open dialog among various local actors.

Lastly, my research drew on the life stories of eye-witnesses of the war who also visited the shelter in recent times.[6] Thanks to their testimonies, I understood how powerful Geertz’s paradigm is: the mind is never free and unspoiled but always shaped by the influence of the present time. This implies the re-construction and the re-elaboration of the testimonies. At the same time, this is a legacy worth preserving, especially in an epoch like ours which is rapidly approaching what scholar Mariann Hirsh, speaking about the Shoah, defined as «Postmemory». This a new phase of history in which all the direct witnesses have passed away, a condition which urges us to come to terms with our capacity to conserve and transmit to future generations the historical memory that has not t been experienced.[7]

My research left some questions open. For instance, what will happen to the district of Sesto (and its material and immaterial cultural heritage) if the UNESCO candidature is rejected? What will happen to EUMM if no longer supported by a public sponsor willing to increase its financial contribution as to sustain EUMM’s development?

These concerns are rooted in the fact that Milan is an outlier when compared with other mayor Italian cities. Being Italy’s financial capital and economic powerhouse, it does not look back to the past but steams full throttle into the future: an ever-evolving skyline, new branches of the underground mass transport system, the endless redevelopment of old neighbourhoods. The list goes on and on.

I subscribe the view that the crux will be ‘how’ this memory will be preserved.

The shared commitment to collective integration and a strong local presence are – in my eyes – the best and most effective way of conserving and transmitting heritage to future generations. The museum, with its emphasis on the practical and sensorial aspect of knowledge, will also play a crucial role.

Partial answers to these questions my come from a broader debate, in Italy and in other countries, regarding heritage landmarks. This should involve local institutions and other stakeholder in a broad-scope discussion.

Federica Lampugnani

 

Acknowledgments

I am especially grateful to my supervisor, Professor Ivan Bargna, as well as to Alessandra Micoli and Michela Bresciani (both at EUMM) for their constant support and for trusting my research skills. Their help was decisive for me, not only in terms of practical support but above all for its human dimension.

Finally, a heartfelt thanks goes to those who have entrusted to me their war time stories, in particular Inge Rassmussen and Giuseppe Pirovano. They were generous with their recollections, which are especially valuable for the emotional and the historic value.

Notes

[1] Speech by Liliana Segre during the event organised for Holocaust Day at the Arcimboldi theatre on January 15th 2019.

[2] Federica Lampugnani, ‘Il Giorno della Memoria. La commemorazione della Shoah in Italia. -The day of memory. The commemoration of the Holocaust in Italy’. University of Milan, 2014-2015.

[3] Geertz Clifford, The interpretation of cultures, First edition, 1973.

[4] Bourdieu Pierre, Esquisse d’une théorie de la pratique, Droz, Genève, 1972; Outline of a Theory of Practice, An invitation to reflexive sociology, Bollati Boringhieri, 1992.

Csordas Thomas, Embodiment and experience. The existential round of culture and self, 1994.

[5] Parisi Sebastiano, Milano sotto le bombe (Raids on Milan), for the first time all the reports of the Allied forces bombings, Macchione, 2017.

[6] I’m referring myself, in particular, to Milena Bracesco, Inge Rassmussen and Giuseppe Pirovano. Milena is the daughter of Enrico Bracesco, a worker in Breda’s fifth aeronautical section, deported in working camps after the strikes in March ’43 and ’44. When Milena’s father died she was a year and a half old but she tirelessly worked all her life to piece together the story of her family. Inge and Giuseppe, instead, went through the bombings in Milan since, at that time, they were attending secondary school there. The interviews to Inge and Giuseppe have been recorded on the 5th and the 6th of December 2018.
See Federica Lampugnani, EUMM e il bunker Breda. La patrimonializzazione della memoria storica nel Nord Milano, University of Milano-Bicocca, 2019,  page 100 to 118.

[7] Hirsch Marianne, Material Memory: Holocaust Testimony in Post-Holocaust Art in Shelley Hornstein, Jacobowitz Florence (edited by), Image and remembrance: representation and the Holocaust, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indianapolis, 2003, page 115.

75th anniversaries and wartime commemorations 1945 – 2020

This week sees the commemoration of the end of the conflict in Europe with the Nazi surrender and the official end of Allied operations in Europe on 8 May 1945. In the UK it is known as Victory in Europe Day or VE Day. In other countries including Germany, it is remembered as a day of liberation.

75 years ago, it quite rightly deserved celebration. There were parties and people danced in the streets, crowds filled town and city centres, and in London thousands gathered to witness the Royal family and the Prime Minister on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

For some however the celebrations were blighted by the knowledge that the war against Japan continued in the Far East, thousands of troops and prisoners of war were waiting to be repatriated, and across Europe, millions of people were displaced, homeless and hungry. The political cartoonist, Philip Zec created an image of a battle scared and bandaged soldier holding a wreath representing victory in Europe captioned ‘Here you are. Don’t lose it again!’ (Zec, Daily MIrror)

The prospect of peace and survival were celebrated as much as victory. This year 75 years on, the planned commemorations are being restricted by the Coronavirus pandemic and alternatives to many of the planned events have had to be arranged. This year there will be no street parties or one final parade for the last few surviving veterans. The IBCC Digital Archive however does contain many of their stories they recorded for posterity.

Click here to read and listen to some of their stories about the events of 8 May 1945.

The difficult legacy of the bombing of Treviso.

Treviso, a medium-size town in the Veneto region and railway hub, was heavily hit by Allied bombings during the Second World War. The most intense one was the 7 April 1944 USAAF operation, in which over 2,000 people died and whole neighbourhoods were razed to the ground. Since the inhabitants were in the region of 60,000 (61.129 according the 1947 census) the impact on local society was devastating.

The memorialisation of the event has followed a complex trajectory. It was immediately appropriated by Fascist propaganda and held up as a prime example of Anglo-American viciousness; subsequently, it entered popular culture surrounded by layers of misinterpretations and wartime lore. A persistent legend has that the real target was either a meeting of Axis leaders who happened to gather at a local hotel, or that the city was bombed due to a phonetic and spelling similarity with Tarvisio, the latter being an important station on a vital railway line linking Austria with the Po river valley. In both cases the event was probably seen through the lenses of causality and sense-making –  death and destruction cannot descend from the sky for no particular reason, there must be a clear-cut, wholly satisfactory explanation, even better if it frames the event as part of a bigger plan. The event was also at the centre of Giuseppe Berto’s novel ‘Il cielo e’ rosso’ (The Sky is Red). Published in 1947, it tells the story of abandoned young people in war-raged Treviso.

The bombing partially faded into oblivion during the following decades until a grass root movement brought it back to the forefront. This effort was led by Luisa Tosi, a local researcher under the aegis of the ISTRESCO (Istituto per la storia della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea della Marca trevigiana), an organisation within the nationwide Istituti della resistenza network. Luisa recorded fifty-odd audiocassettes accompanied by detailed annotations. This laudable effort can be understood by placing the Istituti della resistenza network in the broader context of post-war Italy. In the difficult years following the end of the conflict, they acted as trusted repositories for private papers, documents, photos and other memorabilia that found no place in local and national archives. This happened either because their creators wanted to maintain some forms of control on the way the material is accessed and used, or because of the sensitivity of the content: the Resistance, social struggles, political activism, campaigns for rights and the like. This collection is therefore part of a wider societal landscape.

Some snippets have been transcribed and published, but the bulk of civilian stories are still in their original tape format. There are many concerns regarding the rapid obsolescence of the cassettes, with the concrete possibility that these resources will soon be unusable. Preliminary contacts have been established as to digitise the tapes and – possibly – to publish the audio files under the auspices of the IBCC Digital Archive. While it was readily acknowledged that digitising the interviews is the most appropriate step toward long-term preservation, publishing them raised some issues. Their legal status is not entirely clear, as it frequently happens for most oral histories taped in the past; furthermore, the opportunity of sharing ownership of community memory with an organisation that has no obvious ties with Treviso was considered either an opportunity to place local history in a broader context or a risk of relinquishing control.

On the 6 April 2019, a representative of the University of Lincoln was invited to deliver a talk on the anniversary of the bombing. The event has a deep significance since the memory of the event is still a painful one. This is proved by a marble plaque on Palazzo dei Trecento, Treviso city council headquarters.

The plaque remembering the bombing, unveiled 70 years after the event.

Its wording throws in sharp relief the contradictions surrounding the bombing war in Italy: Allied forces were at the same time liberators and tormentors; they ended an oppressive regime but inflicted suffering on a massive scale in the process:

“On a spot marked by wartime destruction, the Treviso City Council and the National league of Civilian War Causalities laid this plaque in remembrance of the civilian victims of all wars. May their sacrifice be never forgotten, may this indicate the road to a future of peace.”

Not surprisingly the message is imbued with elusiveness: aerial warfare is merely hinted at, while ‘wartime destruction’ is not only ambiguous but omits completely agency. Who dropped the bombs remains unsaid. The plaque is also dedicated to the victims of all wars, and their death placed in a broader perspective of peace. It’s interesting to point out that ‘sacrificio’ has the same meaning and the identical moral connotation of ‘sacrifice’ in English, i.e. to willingly offer their own life in furtherance of a higher, nobler cause. Hardly the most accurate description of the death of non-combatants who merely happened to be at wrong place at the wrong time. Finally, the plaque was unveiled in 2014, 70 years after the event.

The presentation took place at the local library, the conference space packed to capacity at the start of the event.

Public attending the presentation.

The talk had to be carefully planned as not to obfuscate the controversial nature of the topic, while at the same time acknowledging the sensitivity of the context. The presentation was well received and the public especially appreciated a refreshing international perspective on a topic which in Italy tends to be explored from a narrower military history perspective. A member of the public commented: “I wish something comparable could be delivered here!”

Alessandro Casellato, the host, sounded out the public option as to whether the cassettes should be handed over for digitisation, a sort of impromptu exercise in community participatory practices. No objections were raised.

Alessandro Casellato (University of Venice ‘Ca’ Foscari’) hands over the cassettes to Alessandro Pesaro (right), representing the IBCC Digital Archive and the University of Lincoln.

Alessandro Casellato’s summation captures the mood of the event:

“The collective memory of the bombing of Treviso is still a painful one. Preserving the voices of those who were caught up in it is important for us – the kind offer of the University of Lincoln is an opportunity we’re grateful for. However, this hasn’t been an easy decision. Sharing the ownership of our past with an organisation based in a country which emerged victorious after the World War has made some of us uncomfortable; ethical problems have been debated at length; furthermore, there’s an obvious imbalance of power in terms of resources and expertise. As a preliminary step, we’re happy to entrust the cassettes to the University of Lincoln for digitisation and preservation, pending a future discussion on their publication”

In July 2020 all tapes have been converted into digital files and the cassettes returned to ISTRESCO. Discussion regarding the publishing of the interviews have been initiated.

 

The bombing of Kassel 22/23 October 1943

By 21 March 1945, Kassel had been the target of 40 air raids. A model, commissioned just after the end of the war and exhibited in Kassel’s Stadtmuseum, shows what the city centre looked like in May 1945:

kassel

The Royal Air Force had already targeted Kassel for a massive attack on 3/4 October 1943 but the target indicators had been set wrongly so that the bombs mostly missed Kassel but destroyed a number of villages to the east, Sanderhausen among them. On the second attempt, on 22/23 October, over 500 aircraft did not miss and created a firestorm which destroyed most of the old town which consisted mainly of half-timbered houses (the area in the foreground of the picture). The old town was densely populated and had narrow thoroughfares in which fire could spread easily. There were some public air raid shelters but mostly people had sought protection from the bombs in the cellars of the buildings where they lived.

The experiences of people who survived that attack were collected between 3 February 1944 and 21 July 1944 by Dr Paetow, Director of Office for Missing Persons in the City of Kassel. (The last record is dated 22 October 1944 but a note by the editor suggests that this is a typing error.) It is not clear what motivated Dr Paetow or how he selected his eyewitnesses but their addresses suggest that they lived mainly in the old town and the city centre or that they were at work there during the attack. These statements have been translated from the German for the IBCC with the help of Tricia Coverdale-Jones.

The format of the statement seems to have been modelled on witness statements given to the police although it is not clear how they were recorded originally. They give the name or names of the witnesses, usually their date of birth and occupation or rank (in civil service or occupational terms). Their value lies in the fact that these statements are fairly immediate to the events although it would seem to me that the later ones are more fluent than the earlier ones and also more elaborate.

Record 70, for example, tells the same story twice, once without date, fairly short and sparse, whereas the second version is much longer, more detailed and also much smoother and fluent in its description. The later records also tend to take more account of the aftermath of the raid and record 75 seems to imply a number of criticisms to the effect that overlapping jurisdictions led to disorganisation and hindered the burial of the casualties of the raid.

Record 75 also mentions the mistreatment of Italian military internees by the SS but during the raid, differences of nationality seem not to have made much of a difference. Record 20 is the statement of a Dutchman who lived through the event but records 31 and 89 also refer to Dutch workers. French workers and prisoners of war are mentioned too a number of times and record 36 is in fact an account by a Frenchman; the content of the statement would suggest that the person listed as the witness functioned rather as an interpreter.

The accounts are mostly sober and emotions are implied rather than openly addressed. Little is said about the pilots and bombers (“Churchill got everything, the bastard!” (record 70) is a rare exception) but even the loss of close relatives is stated plainly. This seems to have been an expectation at least of the person recording the interviews as a note has been added to record 35. Mr Mootz gives the impression that he cannot let go of the pain of having lost his happiness. At every sentence, he bursts into tears. His arm is also still paralysed in part. I therefore had to get his wallet out of his pocket as he wanted to show me pictures, the last remnants of his lost happiness. He obviously needs to talk about his misfortune and although he bursts into tears, this seems to give him relief. I think he’ll be well again in a few months. Physically, he appears to be quite sturdy. It is therefore even more surprising that he is so depressed.

This is a statement about a man who had just reported the loss of his wife, his daughter, his daughter-in-law and several grandchildren. He had also stated that he had lost one son in the war and two more were seriously ill as a result of the war.

Together, the records show that it was the fire which killed the majority of people. Shelters and some cellars had been equipped with ventilation pumps but their purpose was to suck in fresh air from the outside. As the fires raged, however, the pumps were sucking in smoke and fumes. A number of survivors state that they fell asleep in these cellars (meaning, I think, that they lost consciousness) and people were then killed either by suffocation or by the heat. Record 88 states that people going through cellars after the raid thought that they had found kohlrabi under rags but it turned out to be the browned skulls of the people who had been incinerated there.

In some places, the heat must have been so intense that crystal glasses had melted into blobs (record 70); according to The Sunday Express of 24 October 1943, “the flames rose up 4,000 ft.” People did, nevertheless, feel safer in the cellars rather than braving the firestorm and collapsing buildings outside.

PBanksP15010051.1

Kassel in 1945

The collection of statements includes testimony from people of various ages and backgrounds and of both sexes. Compared to more recent attempts at collecting evidence regarding this event and similar ones in other towns and cities, they have the advantage that also the voices of those can be heard who were already older at the time. Despite the use of terms such as ‘night of terror’ and ‘terror attack’, these accounts can be assumed to be less mediated and coloured by later accounts as there seems to be little that is formulaic in them or that suggests an emerging shared narrative. They therefore complement the interviews of bomber crews and are made available by the IBCC.

Harry Ziegler

 

Come uccelli d’argento [Like silvery birds] – Review  

The docufilm explores the difficult legacy of the United States Army Air Forces bombing of Sant Ilario (13 September 1944), in which 18 inhabitants of a small community in the Trento province lost their lives. Numbers may pale in comparison to other strategic bombings on the European theatre but the aim is rather to explore the impact of a dramatic event on small, close-knit community which was largely unprepared to cope with it, and to explore its difficult memorialisation.

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Sant Ilario bombing victims. Photo courtesy of Maurizio Panizza

Researched and presented by Maurizio Panizza and filmed by Federico Maraner, the documentary brings together an orchestra of voices with different perspectives on the event. Commentary is minimal, mostly intended to provided background; the documentary avoids facile effects and the overall tone remains sombre and pensive throughout. No overt judgements are given and those who were at the receiving ends of the bombing war speak as eyewitnesses, not as judges; they remember, not accuse.

The script uses plain language without indulging in aerial warfare technicalities: the life histories of the informants are thrown in sharp relief without rhetoric. Minor details are used to convey a potent sense of reality, for example the overwhelming smell of dust and explosives, or the eerie silence after the bombs went off. Both are recurring elements in the stories of bombing survivors.

bombardamento 7

Sant Ilario bombing public funeral service. Photo: courtesy of Maurizio Panizza

 

One of the most striking aspects of the event is that the Sant Ilario bombing was not even a bombing in the first place. Bombload was randomly jettisoned, the bombs fell on that specific spot by pure chance, and the casualties were mostly peasants who had little or no connection to the war effort. A provincial backwater removed from the main targets, the village was considered a safe heaven, its local population on the increase owing to an influx of evacuees. Destruction and death – admonishes the documentary – are not only blind but pointless: suffering had no apparent meaning. In this vein, even describing aircraft as “silvery birds” has a subtle logic. It captures its beauty and grace, but also stresses an inhuman, purely mechanical destructive power. It conveys a sense of wonder reported by quite a few witnesses of aerial warfare, but on the other hand suggesting an overwhelming force which leaves people on the ground defenceless. The random nature of suffering and death is made explicit by one poignant passage: evacuees who had having prior knowledge of bombings and try to warn others are killed; those who ignored their advice are spared.

Brione- Luogo in cui cadde la bomba

Brione, the very spot where the bombs fell. Photo: courtesy of Maurizio Panizza

This unresolved duality is emphasised by a shrewd use of present-day footage, especially when the camera lingers on the gentle slopes of nearby hills, sleepy villages, and lush vegetation. Camera movements subtly suggest a sense of time, passage, and transformation but there’s a rather disturbing undercurrent. Has suffering been properly elaborated or is it still present? Did the passing of time heal the wounds or the events have merely fallen into oblivion, replaced my more pressing issues? Have we learned from the event? Those questions remain on the background when the documentary describes the difficult memorialisation of the bombing. Lacking recognition from authorities, local people took ownership of their own heritage by erecting a small memorial funded by subscriptions. It still stands, recognised as a focal point of the local community.

Come uccelli d’argento [like silvery birds]

by Maurizio Panizza and Federico Maraner

Italy, 2017, 30’ https://vimeo.com/296575801

Alessandro Pesaro, Digital Archive Developer