Growing Up Under Fascism
In a Little Town in Southern Italy


Chapter I - Giovinazzo & Puglia — A Brief History
Chapter II - Giovinazzo in the Early 1930s
Chapter III - My Family
Chapter IV - The Apartment — Our Home
Chapter V - The Early Years
Chapter VI - Elementary School
Chapter VII - Family Activities
Chapter VIII - Recreation and Games (Winter)
Chapter IX - Family Activities (Spring)
Chapter X - Family Activities (Summer & Fall)
Chapter XI - Unpleasant but Necessary Activities
Chapter XII - Secondary School
Chapter XIII - The War — The Early Years
Chapter XIV - The War — The Worst Years
Chapter XV - The War — The End
Chapter XVI - Returning to Normal Life
Chapter XVII - Family Reunion
Chapter XVIII - Reflections & Comments


This book does not intend to portray the history of the period, but it is only a recollection of the early years of my life, the way I experienced it. I thought that the period I lived during the early years of my life was very unique and interesting from a social and human point of view, since it depicts a kind of a lifestyle that many people are not aware of. Also it shows how people in different parts of the world coped with the same difficult problems of making a living, striving to improve the living condition, and secure a better future for their children. In general it shows that when life and family goals are very clear and strong, people can go through the most difficult hardships and still achieve the desired results, regardless of the political regime and the economic conditions that controls the daily life.

I was born while the Fascism was very well established, and at the time I and all the people of my generation, had no way to compare its type of government with any other. While in school, it was always pointed out to us that the one we had at that time was the best, because of our past history, and the destiny of our nation, as had been planned by the great leader Mussolini. We were so well brain washed with those ideas in the early years of our lives, that even later on in the higher education classes, while studying ancient history and other types of governments, we were never tempted to confront some of the totalitarian lines of the Fascist theory. We were always reminded that our country had been used and abused by all the other nations and it was our duty to take back whatever had been taken away from us. We had to stick together to defend ourselves from the common enemy.

As far as the older generation was concerned, they never made any public comments about the existing regime, since through the centuries they had been used and abused by the authority in charge. No matter who was in power in the region, they never had experienced a government that would take them out of their miserable, feudal conditions. they had learned that it did not pay to fight the authorities on any grounds because the existing conditions could go from bad to worse. It was in their best interest to obey the rules and keep a low profile. As a matter of fact this government was the first to show some interest in their plight, and somehow had brought about some very good changes and had alleviate the miserable conditions they had endured through the past centuries.

And for years things were coming along very well. The nation move forward and a better standard of living was available to everyone who wanted to improve their social status. Most of the people were behind the Duce and they would have done anything to fulfill his wishes. But unfortunately, most of the time power corrupts, and Mussolini and his supporters went on seeking dreams which were not realistic and created their own downfall.

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