Friday, 21 July 2017

Reflecting on the contribution of Sant’ Angello

Sant’ Angello is just outside Sorrento and like everywhere has its own war memorial.

It stands in front of the Municipal Building in a small open space filled with flowers and sits perfectly at the heart of the town.

To one side are some street benches, and on the other a series of cafes from which you can stare back at the statue and the names inscribed on the four faces of the memorial.

It is easy to forget that Italy stood with the allies in the Great War and while the Fascists took the country into the war on the side of Nazi Germany there were many who opposed that alliance with Hitler.

And there were many who not only opposed Fascism and the Fascist adventures in Africa, and then from 1940 in Greece and elsewhere, but also were killed by the regime and later by the German army for that opposition.

All of which makes those tired jokes about Italian bravery both bad taste and inaccurate.

From the socialist deputies murdered when Mussolini took power to the partisans who fought both his government and the Germans that opposition was fierce and determined.

All of which were in my thoughts as I sat in the sun yesterday beside the war memorial of Sant’ Agnello.

The life of the town moves past it and I doubt that many give it much of a glance, but then that I suspect is how most memorials are regarded.

They are a memorial to those who died and are venerated as such but remain just a part of the towns existence.

And that is how it should be.Location; Sant’Agnello

Picture; the war memorial, Sant’ Agnello, 2017, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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