Felice resists

Publish date 30-12-2022

by Roberto Lerda

Felice Magliano was born in San Giovanni a Piro in 1913. His life was marked by the tragedy of the two world wars: the first, when he was just born, and the second, fought in the flower of youth. He was called to arms in 1940 and after the 1943 armistice he was taken prisoner by the Germans, remaining a prisoner for a long time in Libya, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Dalmatia, Slovenia, Hungary and finally in Austria.
He always decisively refused the request to enlist in the ranks of the German army, demonstrating strong resistance of mind and great courage, even at the cost of sacrifices and increasingly poor living conditions. Finally, on 8 May 1945, liberation arrived and he was able to return to Italy, covering the first part of the journey in a long march on foot.
From there a new life began for him in his country of origin, from which he never moved. He has always carried out humble jobs, linked to his land: he was a farm labourer, a farmer, a shepherd. He got married and had two daughters, then six grandchildren and finally seven great-grandchildren.

A story of simplicity and humility, a story of tragedy and rebirth, a story of resistance to evil and of rebuilding from the bottom up. Again in recent months, his strong "no" to war has been raised: a wicked war that has brought back the roar of arms to our continent, knocking on the doors of the European Union and our consciences.
Felice Magliano died last July, at the age of almost 109 years. Only a few months earlier, in April, he had been awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for his vivid example of resistance to Nazi-fascism, an acknowledgment that follows two medals of merit for war campaigns, received in the past years.
Felice fought his battle and - with his long life made up of few words, so much sacrifice in work and a strong "no" to war - he leaves the baton to whoever wants to take it up and join in peaceful resistance against war and evil in all its forms.

Robert Lerda
NP October 2022

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