BORN in England to an Italian Fascist father, Peter Ghiringhelli's turbulent childhood saw him deported to Italy when Mussolini fatefully entered the Second World War. There Peter witnessed the totalitarian regime at first hand and recalls his experiences of cold and hunger, his own role in Fascist rallies as a member of the black-shirted Balilla and the fall of Mussolini, providing a captivating living link to the past. Published for the first time, his childhood memories of this part of war-torn Europe are a fascinating insight into life under terrible oppression by the Republican Fascist party and the invading German army, who selected random Italian civilians for execution as retribution for every German soldier killed during the violent partisan fighting. Although his experiences were typical of many children living in Mussolini's Italy, Peter Ghiringhelli's remarkable recall and vivid memories serve as a unique testament to an extraordinary period of history, placing the reader in his place in a tug of war between life and death, desolation and victory.
PETER GHIRINGHELLI was born in Leeds in 1930. After the war he joined the British army and served in the Royal Artillery in Germany and the Far East until 1953. He then worked in the Immigration Service at Folkestone and Heathrow, retiring in 1987. He now lives in Lincoln with his wife Margaret.