Some people cast a spell on you even though you rarely see them. Vincenzo Sanzoni was one of them. He passed away when i was a teenager, but i could still remember him very clearly. We've learnt his story many years after his death. I wish i could listen from him. Vincenzo Sanzoni : An internee in WWII
Vincenzo Sanzoni. This gentleman was in my life until i was 14 years old. Every Easter, Christmas and family celebrations he was there in his well fit suit. He was so quite. I've only heard a few words from him. But he always smiled when he was looking at me. Everytime he brought me the same present: A chocolate with pistachios... I've never asked his story. He has never been married. Lived lonely for a long time in Istanbul. When he was out of his home, he always had his hat suitable with his suit. After he died i saw him in my dream, he was a ghost and told me to not afraid because of him. He told me in my dream that every family member is okey in heaven. Also his mother was Aspasia with him as a ghost. He took out his hat and put on my head then they have turned back to heaven together.
After years i've learned the story of Vincenzo from my grandmother. When his family was in Edirne he went to Italy for high school - maybe university -. At that time World War 2 started, and they've joined to army with his friend, or they had to join. Status of Italy during WW2 was interesting. After 1943, Italian Resistance and Italian Royal Army were together against Axis, but Italian Social Republic was with Axis.
Days, months, years have passed and there were no letters from Vincenzo. Sanzoni family was waiting for a letter but nothing. They thought that Vincenzo was dead. They had the funeral rites for him. But one day the postman (named Cemil) came with a letter. Firstly they've thought it's a letter before he died.
They've read, but what!? It says ' I live, waiting for the end of court. I have been captured by Germans.' It was the happiest day in Sanzonis life, their son that they thought was dead, alive! My grandmother told that they have gave many gifts to postman who brought that letter.
My grandmother doesn't know the details of WW2. As we've investigated the history, the reason of capturing Italians by Germans was the Armistice of Cassibile in 3 September 1943. Many Italian soldiers and officers were confronted with the choice to continue fighting as allies of the German army otherwise, be sent to detention camps in Germany.
Those soldiers were called Italian Military Internees. The Germans disarmed and captured 1,007,000 Italian soldiers, out of a total of approximately 2,000,000 actually in the army. Of these, 196,000 fled during the deportation. Of the remaining approximately 810,000 , more than 13,000 lost their lives during the transportation from the Greek islands to the mainland and 94,000 decided immediately to accept the offer to fight alongside the Germans.
This left a total of approximately 710,000 Italian soldiers deported into German prison camps with the status of IMI. By the spring of 1944, some 103,000 had declared themselves ready to serve in Germany or the Italian Social Republic, as combatants or as auxiliary workers. In total, therefore, between 600,000 and 650,000 soldiers refused to continue the war alongside the Germans .( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_military_internees )
Vincenzo Sanzoni was lucky that he survived during war and captivity. But maybe his silence was a reason of those days. Rest in peace Vincentzo..
Written by : 2mi3, July 2018
Source for WW2 details :