“From the shadow you rise and in the shadow you set, my poor day:
your sadness takes me with frozen hands to dawn
and kills me each evening.
You die and return, always the same:
you have no past, you have no future…”
Oliveri, M. (1946). Rosary of Imprisonment. Agate Edizioni.
Mario Oliveri was a teacher, writer, poet, artist and one of over 600,000 Italian troops captured and interned after the Cassibile Armistice announced on September 8, 1943, interned and designated as “Italian Military Internees” thereby removing any protections provided to them through the 1929 Geneva Convention protections for Prisoners of War. Through his chapbook of poetry given to me by my cousin who also was an IMI and likely in the same labor camp for a time, I discovered this historical fact and the surprising silence that surrounds their resistance.