“…this is the flower of the Partisan who died for our freedom.” from Bella Ciao
Many of the elderly citizens of Italy still remember the American soldiers who marched into villages from over the mountains and handed out chocolate to the children. They will never forget life under Benito Mussolini’s fascist puppet regime and the German Nazi’s. A childs rhyme still plays through their minds, lamenting the days without bread and nights without light.
Liberation Day in Italy honors Italian resistance, those who fought the fascist regime, but also protests the tyranny and oppression throughout the world through speeches and political rallies. It is a national holiday celebrated all across Italy that marks the fall of Mussolini’s Italian social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945, towards the end of the second World War. Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party from 1922 to 1943, continuing to lead the Italian Social Republic in parts of Italy that were not occupied by Allied forces from 1943 to 1945.
The Italian resistance was composed of independent soldiers who had once been members of Italy’s many political parties, along with more than 35,000 women. The resistance fought fiercely in every Italian city, but the biggest loss took place in the industrial city of Torino. Many of the workers in the factories, the center of Italy’s car making industry, and other establishments around the city refused to comply with the German military forces. As a result, 7,000 workers perished under harsh labor conditions or in gas chambers after being shipped off to concentration camps.
Italy won their independence and have remained a democratic republic since 1946.
Today, Rome’s president will make his annual visit to the Ardeatine Caves mausoleum, where 335 Romans were killed by Nazis in 1944.
Festivities will take place in every Italian city. Bands and parades in almost every town will be playing “Bella Ciao,” the anthem of the Italian resistance movement during World War II, often sung by the left-wing antifascist rebels who fought against the atrocities of the Nazis and the leader of Italy, Benito Mussolini. Today, the lyrics are symbolic of the sacrifices made for freedom.
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