Partisans on Trial

Anti-high speed train protest, Milan.

The trial against a group of Garibaldini in Lucca is being postponed for a few days in order to collect more proof. Italian authorities and politicians of reactionary parties intend to use it to stir up and deteriorate relations with Yugoslavia and condemn the liberation struggle of Italian anti-fascists against the German occupier and local fascists during the Second World War.

Representatives of the Italian inhabitants of Istria expressed their disapproval of the “false and anti-Yugoslav” trial. All this hampers the establishment of normal relations between Italy and Yugoslavia, for which our Yugoslav government,  has so strived and which is in the interest of both the Italian people and peace.

The trial, whose next session is now being prepared and new trials which are now on the horizon against former partisans in Italy, remind us of the old, well-known, dangerous roads of imperialism which brought Italy and the Italian people in World War II to a position not the least bit enviable.

We talked to Aldo Plaino “Valerio,” a former commissar and Vittorio Iuri “Marco,” a former commander of GAP /Gruppi Acioni Partizani, both on the bill of indictment who are to be tried.

They both believe the purpose of the trial is to deny and evince as crimes all glorious traditions and struggles of the anti-fascist forces in this part of Italy, to influence public opinion in Italy against Yugoslavia and to justify the campaign which is today being conducted against good neighbourly relations between Italy and Yugoslavia.

“The aim of this trial is to prove the “‘betrayal of the fatherland’ because of the cooperation and common fight of Italian and Yugoslav partisans,” says Aldo Paino. “The Italian authorities, therefore, have also to conduct trials against those Italians and their groups which have supported the Anglo-American armies to overthrow fascism.”

Anti-Fascist forces in Furlania, whose fight at the beginning consisted in illegal work, in collecting information about the enemy, in underground actions and in gathering arms and food for partisans, were becoming bigger and stronger. Especially after the surrender to the Italian partisan movement spread.

The units of GAP co-operating and fighting with the Italian Natizone division, which was a constituent part of our Ninth Corps, carried out a series of successful operations against Germans and fascists.

The partisans liquidated many fascists, attacked militia posts, killed many Germans, blew up trains, destroyed bridges and communications and carried out one of their most significant operations when they entered Videm, held by the Germans, on the 7 February 1945, liberating the prison and setting free about 150 anti-fascists sentenced to death.

Alarmed by the sudden the sudden growth of democratic anti-fascist forces, the followers of the reactionary parties formed anti-fascist democratic forces for the Allies and the people, but which in fact were German and fascist collaborators.

This is why the collaborators and accomplices of fascism are not being tried today, but the movement which fought for the free and democratic Italy, the movement which lost hundreds of lives. With the trial of Italian partisans and its movement, the Court at Lucca wants to revive again those methods which history has condemned.

At a session of the Chief Committee of the Partisan Federation in Trieste, a resolution, was passed pointing out that in the Italian courts today there are elements fighting against Nazism-fascism, while fascist elements enjoy complete freedom and in the courts are in a strong position to oppose those who are fighting for the freedom of Italy. The  Federation has invited the government to prevent the persecution of the partisans.

Adapted from CIA translations (1951) courtesy of Photograph by Samuel Ghilardi. Published under a Creative Commons license.