WWII History:The Italian Resistance

Members of the Italian Resistance fought initially as independent troops against both the Nazi Army and Mussolini’s forces. Called partisans, these Resistance soldiers came from the political parties that the Mussolini government had outlawed under fascism.They helped the Allied forces and supported a republican form of government to replace the Italian monarchy.They operated mainly in the north of Italy and in the Apennine Mountains, areas where they are credited for liberating the major cities before the arrival of the Allies. Among their achievements was the capture of Mussolini. Their heroic deeds and sacrifices played a key part in winning public support for the establishment of the Republic of Italy in 1947.The President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, 2006 to present, was a member of the Italian Resistance.

Local Connections

Paolo Ferrara, Mary D’Altorio Masciangelo’s great uncle, immigrated to the US, settled in Warren, Ohio, and at one time worked on the construction of the Summit Street Bridge on Warren’s Northwest side. Before the US entered World War II, he returned to his home town of Rivisondoli, Italy. Mary received thisĀ document from her father, Paolo’s nephew. It certifies that her great uncle served as a partisan combatant (partigiano combattente) in the Italian Resistance. Paolo saw combat in his home town of Rivisondoli, which is in the Abruzzo region, from 8 September 1943 to 30 December 1943.

7 Responses to “WWII History:The Italian Resistance”

  1. gary hollingworth says:

    My mother-inlaw , Rosina Ferrara migrated to Australia shortly after WW2 on one of the ‘bride ships’ as part of an arranged marriage agreement. Would very much like to know if the German occupation caused much trauma in Rivisondoli during the war. She certainly carried some emotional scars.

  2. Phillip E Massaro says:

    This is some awesome Italian History.

  3. Edith Ritch says:

    Enjoyed all the articles.

  4. Edith Ritch says:

    Hi Ben

    Thank you for submitting the article of Uncle Paolo, it is great seeing him making “history”.

    Our family is so lucky to have you write articles and translate the many papers we have and did not know what they were or meant.

    Thanks again.


  5. Edith Ritch says:

    Hi Ben
    It is wonderful seeing the article of my great Uncle Paolo.

    Our family is so lucky to have you writing articles of them and also translating the many papers which we had – never knowing what they were or meant.

    We all continue to thank you.


  6. Ben says:

    Around 1900, the steel industry grew exponentially in NE Ohio. There was a great need for unskilled labor. Thousands of Italians and other ethnic groups were drawn to the foundries and steel mills of Youngstown, Ohio. The following link from our Archive provides a lot of detail on why Italians settled here:

  7. Hi Ben: I must say, I am very impressed by your “Steel Valley Voices” Archive and this handsome page. I think I’m going to start printing it out. I wish someone in my family had done a similar project. My father didn’t until he was retired and wrote his memoirs. and those didn’t circulate in the family until I started editing and proofing them.

    I know I have one question: How did Capracottesi end up in Youngstown? I’ve told you how they got to Parkersburg, because of one man, Mr. Hersch. And my mother’s family, the Vellani’s, got to Columbus Ohio because a close Italian friend got there first and helped my grandfather get a job with the Bonney/Floyd steel company.


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