Patti Chandler, whose father was a prisoner of war at Sulmona in the Abruzzo, took part in the making of a documentary about the partisans, PoWs and Italian people in the Peligna valley during the Second World War. Patti, who is the producer of Sulmona Newsletters, reports here on how the programme came about.
The documentary was made for RAI Storia, an Italian television channel, and tells the story of events in and around Sulmona and the Peligna valley. It is based on the book Partisan Kids by Pietro Faiella and Pierlorenzo Puglielli and tells of the bravery of the young partisans in helping the Allies. The director was Silvia Giulietti of OVERCOM, Rome.
The interview with me took place at the Melia White House Hotel, London. It was an interesting choice of venue as, during the Second World War, the building, due to its distinctive shape, was used by the aggressor’s pilots as a compass to help them find their bearings. Consequently, it was never bombed.
I gave an account of my father’s time as a PoW in Campo 78, from him being captured on the African Desert to being hospitalised in Sulmona with a kidney stone; being assisted, while in hospital, by two ladies working there at the time; and then his transportation to Germany. I covered my involvement with the reunions of Campo 78, Sulmona, which were held each year at the Union Jack Club, Waterloo, London. The regular Freedom Trail based on Sulmona is a significant part of the story. I spoke about the link between these reunions and the Monte San Martino Trust.
The documentary , in Italian, was first aired on 2nd January, 2015, and was well received in Abruzzo and beyond. It is one hour long and gives a very good account of the movements towards the north of Italy by the Allies, and the assistance given to them by the Italian people.
Click below to read the April 2015 Sulmona newsletter