We, the Partisans

By Daniela Gross

Seventy years have passed, but the Resistance is still a discussion topic in Italy, as the recent controversy about the Jewish Brigade participation to April 25th celebrations demonstrated.
Therefore, the new book by journalist Aldo Cazzullo seems like a necessary read. Entitled “Possa il mio sangue servire – Uomini e donne della Resistenza” (“May my blood be of service – Men and Women of the Resistance”), it focuses on the partisan fight, specifically on the dramatic experiences of those who chose to take up arms against Hitler and Mussolini.

In a review by Mirella Serri on Sette, the magazine of the Corriere della Sera, Aldo Cazzullo pointed out that, “the Resistance has long been considered, although with some exceptions, something ‘lefty’, a communist thing”. “On the contrary, in the last ten years partisans have been presented as bloody executioners, who raged against innocent victims, the ‘Salò guys’.”
“Both versions are one-sided and false,” said Cazzullo.

In addition, he highlighted, the opposition to Nazis and Fascists cannot be identified exclusively with the partisan fight, because it involved many categories, nowadays often forgotten. “It was something more expansive, which included religious men, civilians, women, service men, prisoners in Germany, Jews, workers on strike, and industrialists”. So, he concluded, “The Resistance is not the heritage of a single side, but of the entire nation”.