April 25, in Milan the stories of the partisans arrive on the smartphone: the gravestones with qr code with bio. From Sergio to Jenide: who I am
There are about 500. Distributed throughout Milano: gravestones o plaques dedicated to the partisans, political deportees, Jews or military internees. They remember the life and actions of those who opposed the fascist regime and represent the traces left by memory, for those who live in the present and for those who will live the future. “But the Milanese often walk through the streets without even noticing them”, he comments Roberto Cenati, president of Anpi Milano, the National Association of Italian Partisans. Also this year, as it was for 2020, on April 25 it will not be possible to reunite due to the restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic. Here because Anpi sought alternative solutions to celebrate Liberation Day. City Hall 6 found them: to equip those tombstones and those plaques of the partisans with a qr code. This will make it possible by bringing the phone closer read the biographies and see the photo of those who fought for freedom. “A way to bring the new generations closer to such an important issue for our history, and to make the points of the city where they are distributed even more visible”, continues Cenati.
For example in Piazzale Lavater, between Lima and Porta Venezia. Here, on December 9, 1944, a barrage of (fascist) shots hit in the back Sergio Kasman, who dies instantly. Opponent of the regime, his life changes when he is 23 years old. After 8 September he hides in the mountains, not far from Chiavari, and starts his business. His nom de guerre is Marco. He is a member of the Action Party and is arrested twice, but in both cases he is saved. In March 1944, according to what was reconstructed by Anpi, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Piazza Command in Milan. One day of the same month he disguises himself, wears an SS uniform and goes to San Vittore, asking for the release of Giuseppe Bacciagaluppi, Arialdo Banfi, executives of Justice and Freedom, and the Canadian officer Patterson. The guards believe him, and the three are released. For this, and for many other actions, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Military Valor for Memory. His name is inscribed under the vaults of the Loggia dei Mercanti, along with 1738 other Freedom Fighters.
“We would like to expand the project, and create one mapping of the places of memory in Milan, a city so crucial for the Resistance ”, continues Cenati. “For example, remember the large factories that fought in the general strike from 1 to 8 March 1944. Like La Fabbrica Bianchi, which had its headquarters in Viale Abruzzi. And Olap, in Città Studi. There are walls, and it would be interesting to apply a QR code to these too, which refers to websites. To explain, tell and remember. It is a proposal we are working on ”.
He had also participated in the general strikes Adriano Pogliaghi. Its plaque is located in via Segneri 8, al Giambellino, and was recently vandalized. Arrested, he is forced to enlist in the Navy. He manages to escape and returns to Milan, where the anti-fascist activity continues. Later he undergoes a second arrest: first San Vittore, then Mauthausen. He died on April 19, 1945, at the age of 22.
Jenide Russo she was a little older than him and is remembered in via Paisiello 7, where she lived. He lives anti-fascism in his family, then in the first person. From 8 September it becomes a partisan relay. His job is supply weapons and ammunition to the Garibaldi Brigade operating in Villadossola. The experience, however, lasts a few months. In February 1944 she was betrayed (no one knows by whom) and arrested. They take her to Monza, where she undergoes torture. A stay in Fossoli follows, until August 1944. Then a transfer to Ravensbruck, a women’s concentration camp in north-eastern Germany. The road ends in Bergen Belsen, where he falls ill with typhus. Anpi Milano has reconstructed his story also thanks to some letters sent clandestine to his mother. In May 1944, during his detention in Fossoli, he wrote as follows: “Since in Monza I did not want to talk with good people, so they started with nerbs and slaps. They broke my jaw (now it’s okay again). My body was bruised from beating; however, they did not have the satisfaction of seeing me scream, cry, much less talk ”. He died at the age of 28, on April 26, 1945. Italy had been free for one day: the credit is also his.