A Hiding Place

Bell tower of Chiesa S. Michele in Montelparo, Italy.

Early this month I received an e-mail from Loris Ferretti, son of Onelio Ferretti. Onelio was a young man in the comune of Montelparo, in the Marche region of Italy, during World War II.

“My father told me the Americans [who had escaped from Camp 59] hid with him in a room of a church [Chiesa S. Michele or the Church of Saint Michael] in the village, where in the night my grandmother secretly brought them food, using a ladder that was in that room. My father told me he helped the Americans hide, but he never revealed their names. Then the war ended and they returned to their country. That is all know of this little story.”

Mio padre mi raccontava di Americani nascosti con lui in una stanza di una chiesa in paese, dove la notte di nascosto mia Nonna portava loro da mangiare, aiutandosi con una scala che tenevano in quella stanza. Mio Padre mi raccontava di aver aiutato quei Americani a nascondersi, ma non mi ha mai rivelato i loro nomi. Poi la guerra finì e sono tornati al loro paese.

“The monks walled up (closed) that room to hide the gold, precious objects of the Church. They opened that room about two months ago. That room was used to hide the fugitives of Camp 59. You could not get up there without a ladder.”

I frati avevano murato (chiuso) quella stanza per nascondere l’oro, gli oggetti preziosi della Chiesa. Hanno aperto quella stanza circa due mesi fa. Quella stanza servì per nascondere i fuggiaschi del campo 59, non si poteva salire li sopra senza una scala.

“The room was closed by the monks to hide the gold and valuables during the war, for fear the Germans would steal them. You could only enter from the window using a ladder that was kept inside. My grandmother and other women of the country brought the men food by pulling on a rope. The food was sent up and down in plastic buckets on a rope.”

Quella stanza è stata chiusa dai frati per nascondere l’oro e gli oggetti di valore durante la guerra, per paura che i Tedeschi rubassero gli oggetti di valore. Si poteva entrare solo da quella finestra con una scala che era all’interno. Mia nonna e le altre donne del paese portavano loro da mangiare tirandolo su con una corda. Il mangiare veniva mandato su con una fune e i bisogni scendevano giù con dei secchi di plastica.

“I am sending you pictures I took in the hiding place where my father was with the prisoners—the church and the room. There was little light. A door [to this room] was opened just this year.”

Ti mando le foto che ho potuto scattare nel nascondiglio dove si trovava mio Padre con i prigionieri. La Chiesa e la stanza. C’era poca luce. Non vi era una porta l’hanno aperta quest’anno.

This photo of the church at night was taken about 10 years ago, Loris explained. “The men in the picture are my friends who live in Montelparo.”

La foto ha circa 10 anni. Gli uomini di quella foto sono amici miei che abitano a Montelparo.

This photo of Montelparo (Wikimedia Commons) is by Filippo Caranti.

This photograph of Chiesa S. Michele (Wikimedia Commons) is by pizzodisevo.

This photograph of Onelio Ferretti is from among the papers and letters of American serviceman Albert Rosenblum. See Albert Rosenblum with the Virgili Family.

Sept. 1943
Ferretti Onelio
Montelparo 1943 XXI

Onelio Ferretti died on September 26, 2009. He was 85 years old.

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