The example of Nicolas

Publish date 17-02-2024

by Redazione Sermig

Few reading this sentence would think they were dealing with a 26 year old Italian boy.
And yet this is precisely what the legacy of the war consists of.

Nicolas Marzolino is a boy from Novalesa, a small village in Val di Susa, and for years now he has been repeating a story that seems to come out of history books or from a distant country.
Instead, it was March 2, 2013 when, together with two friends, young agricultural students like him, he was preparing a field for sowing potatoes as a school exercise. Before returning home, a red object caught their attention and, with the innocence of those who cannot even imagine what is about to happen, they approached to understand what it was.

It looked like a graveyard light and so they handled it without thinking too much, actually joking about it. But it wasn't what it seemed. Nicolas lost his sight, his right hand and some phalanges of his left. Lorenzo lost his sight, while Stefano, fortunately, did not suffer serious injuries, at least on a physical level. It was a hand grenade supplied to the Italian army during the Second World War. After the accident, with the support of family and friends they began - not without difficulty - their rehabilitation also thanks to sport, perhaps the element that most of all convinced them not only not to give up, but above all showed them that even with a significant disability you can achieve great things.
Nicolas is the person he is also thanks to the National Association of Civilian War Victims APS.

In 2023 there will be 9 victims in Italy, of which 5 deaths.
The data seems incredible, but in reality it is consistent with the ways in which conflicts have changed during the 20th century. In fact, until the First World War the majority of victims were soldiers, from the Second World War onwards civilian victims of war have tragically exceeded the former and today amount to 90%. Today's victims are to all intents and purposes the result of that legacy, both moral and material.

The latest data shows a national territory still littered with bombs, one of the heavy legacies of the war: every year there are approximately 60 thousand discoveries and related clean-up interventions on land and 140 thousand at sea.

Nicolas often explains during public meetings and with schools that being a promoter of peace for all civilian victims of war is almost an obligatory choice.
It is no coincidence that ANVCG calls its supporters this way, who are not simple volunteers, but promoters of peace. Nicolas became president of the section in the spring of 2023 and brought many innovations with his ideas and enthusiasm, aware of the more urgent need than ever to represent and support the civilian victims of wars who, still today, number over 30 in the world, not to mention the numerous situations of potential conflict.

As the national president Michele Vigne recalls: «The statute of the association already in the 1960s explicitly connected the memory of the fallen and the suffering of the victims with the commitment to the elimination of wars and to the re-establishment, in relations between peoples, of the superior principles of justice and human solidarity, in the repudiation of every form of violence". One of the privileged places to sow this culture is undoubtedly the school.

ON 14 AND 15 NOVEMBER THE ANVCG ORGANIZED a two-day conference entitled An atlas for peace, aimed at school groups in the area, in the auditorium of the Sermig Peace Arsenal. On the evening of the 14th it was repeated with a conference addressed to citizens entitled Disarming Peace.
The aim of the initiative was to illustrate the theme of the protection of human and civil rights, endangered by past and present conflict situations. The lawyer Giorgia Gambino (interregional contact) presented the association, the updated data on ongoing conflicts in the world and on conflict migrants.
The journalist Alessandro De Pascale presented the latest edition of the Atlas of Wars and Conflicts of the World, focusing on the effect of mines and bombs on civilians. Nicolas Marzolino told his personal story.
Finally, Enzo Ferrara (president of the Sereno Regis Study Centre), underlined the importance of the role of civil society so that peace is actively promoted and not just defended. It was possible to visit a traveling museum of war ordnance, set up by Renato Silvestre (BCM technician, ANVCG Unexploded War Ordnance Department), who held a real education lesson on the risk of finding unexploded war ordnance.

ANVCG was founded in March 1943, became a moral body with its current name in 1947, and in 1956 a public body which by law represents and protects civilian victims of war and their families (a task which never ceased even following the transformation into a private law body ). Today the association is an APS-ONLUS based in Rome, present throughout the country with 79 peripheral offices and over 30 trustees. Nicolas is its national councilor and president of the Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta section.
In addition to the traditional tasks of protecting the category, ANVCG is particularly active in promoting the culture of peace through information and awareness campaigns, workshops in schools, training courses for technicians and future deminers. The objective is to raise awareness of the risks associated with unexploded ordnance, acting as a sower of peace and educator for the new generations.

Elena Ciampi,
ANVCG Turin Interprovincial and Interregional section Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta
NP January 2024

This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Click here for more info