Not bad memories – Sots the soldier

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This is a translation of the Italian story Ricordi non brutti  

by A.L. - 79 years old, Italy.

It was in 1944 and we were evacuated at a farmer’s house at the Bellaria hospital at S.Lazzaro di Savena, near Bologna. Bellaria has been a bequest of Carlo Alberto Pizzardi and it also had a pigsty to cover the needs of the hospital. When the German army requisitioned everything, when we became enemies, they requisitioned the pigsty for themselves, it became their property and they used the wheat - requisitioned from the farmers - to feed the pigs. I was at that time 14 years old, and I knew afterwards that to feed pigs with wheat is a very bad thing to do because they die, it ferments in their stomach and the pigs die. There were 2 German soldiers named Willi and Sots, my mum was washing their clothes and got paid for this and this Sots – I don’t remember what town he was from - became fond of my little brother Vito, asked to my mum a photo of him and gave also a photo of his daughter to my mum. One night it was raining and raining and the room where we were staying was outside of the farmhouse where we were evacuated – it was part of the farmhouse but you could enter the room without being seen – so that night we heard someone knocking at the door and he - Sots - was there carrying a sack on his head and another on his shoulders. He had at least 30 kilos of wheat – and said: “Mum, this is for your children”.We never knew anything about him, after this night.

 

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