How the triumph of resistance against fascism in Italy was experienced 77 years ago and a revelation about "Bella Ciao"

How the triumph of resistance against fascism in Italy was experienced 77 years ago and a revelation about “Bella Ciao”

This note contains spoilers for the series. Money theft.

Valerio Tosi he remembers every detail of the afternoon of April 28, 1945. More than a year of fighting in the shadows, the murder of a dozen friends, the loss of trace of his father and the imprisonment of his brother. It all came down to that exact moment. The Riva del Garda insurrection had succeeded in defeating the invaders three days after beginning their withdrawal from Italy, on April 25 of the same year.

Versus lake gardabound hand and foot, nazis They awaited the order that would condemn their death. In dead silence, Tosi, a 17-year-old supporter, waited for the same call. His rifle was already pointed at the back of a German’s neck and subtracted the “fire” from his cappo pull the trigger. But his general shouted other words: “Sufficient. Lay down your arms. The war is over and the fascists have been defeated. We have won. The Resistance has won.

Valerio Tosi with the “E. Impera” brigade in April 1945Courtesy

That same day, in the nearby town of Giulino di Mezzegra, Benito Mussolini he was executed by a bullet fired by a partisan colonel. His corpse was then hung upside down and displayed as a symbol of anti-fascist victory in Milan’s Loreto Square.

Since then, Italy celebrates every April 25 the The day of liberation, “the date on which the leaders of the Resistance in Milan called on the Italian people to rebel against the Nazi-fascists”explained to THE NATION professor of contemporary history at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Alphonse Botti. A day when we hear in several Italian cities what is considered the emblem of resistance: Beautiful Ciao.

“One morning I woke up…”. This catchy track became a worldwide hit thanks to the Spanish series launched in 2017, money theft. The producer alex pina created his own resistance in red rompers with Dalí masks and captured millions of viewers with his gripping 5 seasons that catapulted the popular series in second place – after the squid game– the ranking of the 10 most viewed in the world in Netflix.

money theft
money theftnetflix

The choice of Italian Resistance – to what is called the armed struggle against the fascists and the Nazis which took place especially in central and northern Italy between 1943 and 1945 as an emblem of the thieves of the national coin and stamp factory it fits perfectly into “the anti-system attitude and the modern Robin Hoods”, as Botti, of the group of El Profesor, defined it.

As for beautiful goodbyeis historically known to be one of the songs that the anti-fascist fighters – partisans – sang during the fight against the army of The Duke. It was then used in the 1950s by the labor movement in Europe and student marches and adopted in particular by left-wing groups.

The phenomenon of La Casa de Papel has led to the decline of this icon of resistance in demonstrations around the world, as was the case in 2018 in a mobilization of bank employees against the government of Mauricio Macri. It has even been remixed by renowned artists, as is the case with the reggaeton version of singer Becky G.

There’s no day when singing an anti-fascist anthem is a bad idea. We must tell those who sing of hatred and fascism that we do not forget that they represent the worst face of humanity,” he said in an interview with Italian media. Republic the show’s writer and co-executive producer, Javier Gomez Santander.

The theme is heard for the first time in the series during a scene featuring The Professor (Álvaro Morte) and Berlin (Pedro Alonso), before raiding the National Currency and Stamp Factory in the first season. The character’s voiceover Tokyo (Ursula Corbero) explains the importance of this song for the mastermind of the robbery: “The professor’s life revolved around a single idea: ¨resistance¨. His grandfather, who had resisted with the partisans to defeat the fascists in Italy, had taught him this song. And then he taught us.”.

The truth is that even though beautiful goodbye is known as an antifascist symbol, its exact origin is unknown. The song dates from the early 1900s and to this day the author is unknown, nor is there evidence that partisans sang their lyrics during World War II.

“There are many interpretations about its origin. Most likely, from a previous and older song, lyrics corresponding to the partisan struggle were put in place “Botti assured. “There is much doubt that it was sung by partisans between 1943 and 1945, while it is more likely that it became the song of the Resistance later and to celebrate it.”

Two theories revolve around its composition. It is specified that the original version comes from the Ashkenazi Jewish music and that it was first recorded in 1919 by Mishka Ziganoff, a Ukrainian accordionist in the United States. The other assumes that beautiful goodbye was sung every day by the worldsgroups of Italian women who cultivated the rice fields in the north of the country.

Tosi, now 94, was part of the foundations of Mussolini’s regime from an early age. At the age of 10, he was part of the National Operation “Balilla”, an Italian national youth organization in which the ideological descent of fascism was taught. It was during his adolescence, at the age of 16, that two teachers from his school will wake him and his brother from the fascist dream. From this moment, his life takes a radical turn: during the day he works and studies, at night he distributes the weapons produced in the clandestine workshops for the partisans.

Indeed, Tosi detailed THE NATION What beautiful goodbye It is a hymn of the European resistance, but not precisely of the Italian resistance.

“This song doesn’t really suit Italy. The lyrics say at one point that “we have defeated the invader”. “The Invader” clearly refers to the Nazis, who were all over Europe. Our fight was against the Nazis, but also against fascism and in particular against Mussolini“, he deepened.

In addition to socialists, liberals and Catholics, those who formed the Italian anti-fascist resistance were mostly communists. This is another reason why the lines of beautiful goodbye They were probably not the favorites of the fighters between 1943 and 1945.

Valerio Tosi (center) today, 94 years old
Valerio Tosi (center) today, 94 years oldCourtesy

“Send the people to the rescue, red flag, red flag”, sang Tosi, during a telephone conversation with this medium. “The song we sang at the end of the war was ‘Bandera Roja’, the emblem of communism, we did not sing Bella Ciao”.

The former craftsman with a degree in Physics is aware of the war 77 years later. He lived his most painful memories there, such as the execution of one of his best friends, but also his most precious memory: the reunion with his brother, imprisoned by the Nazis, whom he believed to be dead.

“Unlike many soldiers, we partisans wore our rifles forward, on our chests, to make it easier to fire if the enemy appeared out of nowhere,” he said. “I remember we were still on our guard a month after the German withdrawal in case they invaded again. I was looking at the lake while loading my weapon, when suddenly I see my brother appear in the distance. I ran desperately towards him. I still have the feeling of the gun, of how it bothered me to have been in the middle of that embrace.

“Based on Real Events” is a series of notes that describes the historical context behind international fictions. In this link you can access all the articles.

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