the dino’s war letter by letter

The project was developed on the assumption that there are currently many printed publications and many websites that deal in depth with the issues of the Second World War and the internment of the Italian military at the end of the conflict. It is a considerable amount of material which is however known by a small circle of people who, by personal involvement, profession or passion, actively deal with it.

The youngest are mostly excluded from this circuit, which involves them only in part with commendable educational initiatives at school level in collaboration with the associations that deal with the topic.

In addition, the direct witnesses of the events related to the Second World War are now few and not all (except formidable exceptions such as that of Senator Segre in Italy) able to tell their experience to the students.

That’s why I decided to undertake this project, to bring out the most common sides of my father’s life through direct testimony of correspondence, a soldier sent first to the front, then military internship and finally detained in a nazi concentration camp.

The multimedia project is called “Letters from the front” and is based on the correspondence of my father Bernardino Ferrero, called “Dino”, from the entry of Italy into the war on 11 June 1940 until the summer of 1945 with the return home of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps.

The centerpiece of the initiative is this website www.letteredalfronte.it

Recipients: families of former military internees, schools of all levels, history researchers, Municipalities, companies mentioned in the letters, cultural associations, more generally all those people who may be interested (or even just curious) to receive continuously correspondence from the past of an Italian soldier.

– over 150 letters and postcards from Italy, France, Albania and Greece;
– a hundred photographs;
– military documents (certificates, honors, registration sheet, cards, etc.);
– some newspapers of the time;
– three letters from the prison camps in Germany, first as IMI and then as a prisoner of a KZ camp in addition to various documentation.

Timing: the letters, photographs and documents will be published  on the website www.letteredalfronte.it, day after day, starting from 11 March 2020 after exactly 80 years from the originals and three months before the entry of Italy into the war, til 8 September 2020.

It will be possible, for those who request it, to receive by e-mail the scan of the originals and / or the faithful transcription and / or the audio file made by a professional dubber.

The letters cite many events of the time, 98 people (some famous as actors, politicians or sportsmen), 119 places (cities, towns, streets, monuments), 15 military corps, 5 different newspapers, 17 films, 6 songs, 24 commercial brands.

A free sponsorship has already been requested from the many municipalities mentioned, Italian and foreign, to the italian authorities, to all the public entities mentioned in the letters and to the most representative associations in the sector.

The website www.letteredalfronte.it will also publish short reports of the principal events happening in Italy and in the world in the same days as well as biographical information, bibliography and links.

To facilitate the diffusion of the project among young people, the material will be published on the main social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and on a WhatsApp chat which can be accessed simply by adding a dedicated phone number to your list of contacts. Messages will be sent in broadcast mode, so no subscriber will be able to see other people’s contacts.

At the end of the publication, a specific training project for schools will also be drawn up, with a selection of the most significant documents.

Costs: for those joining the project the costs are zero, the whole project is non-profit.

At the moment all the documentation has already been digitized and the letters transcribed in writing files.

It is our intention to make all the material usable, without requesting authorization, for those who want to make it an educational, training or cultural use such as your association. Instead, specific authorization must be requested for any other purpose. However, any unauthorized commercial use is prohibited according the italian, international and UE legislation.

The initiative has no commercial and / or economic implication.