Witnesses Of Truth In Italy During World War II
Organised by:< Emilio Bonicelli, Andrea Caspani, Ugo Finetti, Marta Busani, Laura Aldorisio The exhibition “Witnesses of Truth in Italy during World War II ”, staged as part of the 2007 Rimini Meeting, intends making people better acquainted with some aspects of the Resistance Movement and the return of our Country to democracy, after the Second World War, leaving aside the ideological interpretations, myths and censorship from which such events often suffer. More specifically, an attempt will be made to shed light on the original contribution given by Catholic partisans to the liberation movement through “Charity resistance”.It was a new and more human way of living this tragic period, starting with episodes of friendship between consecrated and laypersons, with a mutual opposition of injustice, the assertion of freedom as a right of all human beings and the recognition of the dignity of the individual, including opponents. Alongside the Catholic component in this struggle were other ideal components of our Country: legitimists, liberals, socialists, communists. In the latter however, the idea of “Revolution resistance” took shape, meaning the Resistance seen as the start of an ideological and violent project that considered all opponents as enemies to be eliminated, in the name of a perfect society to be built. It was precisely the communist component, which became culturally dominant after the war, that ended up asserting, after censoring awkward episodes and encasing in myth an ideal anti-Fascist unity, the idea of a Resistance nearly only ‘red’. A view that is not backed up by facts and, in its disintegration risks downing with it also the great ideal value experienced in the period by so many people who, in one way or another, took part in the Resistance movement. The exhibition is split into three sections in which visitors are helped to better appreciate the events of the period in greater detail, right up to the direct meeting with a protagonist. A young martyr whose personal story sums up the ideal values and violence suffered by the ideology and destiny of truth to which all human beings are beckoned. The first part of the exhibition shows an all-round picture. Starting from July 1943, the tragedy is narrated as it was experienced by the Italian people in a Country torn apart by civil war and split between allies and Nazi occupying forces. The origins of the Resistance are traced and the ideal components are presented. An in-depth look of the original contribution of Catholic partisans is also provided. The reasons why violence continued, fuelled by Communist ideology, during and after the war are then explained. A mention is made of how these events were censored and how this affected the education of the younger generations. The second part brings to life a particularly significant area, located at the centre of the so-called “triangle of death”, where ideal values and ideological violence erupted more intensely. Through words, testimonies and the letters of the protagonists, visitors relive the birth of Catholic Resistance at Reggio Emilia, the way it worked and interacted with the people, the confrontation of contrasting viewpoints. Through the narration of friendships, we encounter important but forgotten figures like Don Pasquino Borghi, or Pasquale Marconi, partisan commander, the father of ten children, a doctor who risked his life to also care for the wounded enemy. In the third part, the visitor comes face to face with Rolando Rivi, a fourteen-year-old seminarian of San Valentino (RE), friend of the Fiamme Verdi, killed by the Communist partisans for the sole reason that he wanted to take holy orders and guide other youngsters towards Christian ideas. 60 years later however, the brutal violence of the ideology that tried to cancel out Rolando Rivi, “tomorrow one priest less”, is contradicted by the flourishing of requests for the intercession of the martyr seminarian, by the birth of vocations for the example he gave, by the aggregation of the people around his figure, while for Rolando beatification proceedings are under way.