One day, in June 1944, while back with the Ferros in Canischio during his vacation from school, Marek saw two groups of armed men in the town’s main square. Trusting his belief that they weren’t German soldiers, Marek approached the men and learned that they were partisans, fighting for the end of both Nazi Germany and the reinstalled puppet Mussolini government in Italy.
TESTIMONY: “JOINING THE PARTISANS”
“My heart started to beat faster…”
Marek joined the partisans, and eventually he gained more and more responsibility. He was involved with ambushes, blockades, and attacks. Later, he joined a unit that was responsible for communication between the partisans and the Allies by radio. He learned to use the radio, and he also served as a courier, bringing information to different partisan groups around the area. He traveled for long distances on his bicycle, often through dangerous, enemy-held territory. He never stayed in one place for more than a short time so that the Germans would not be able to discover his location.
As the war entered its last stages in the spring of 1945, Marek listened to his radio to hear reports of the progress of the liberation of different cities in the region. Soon, the liberation reached his area, and Marek returned to Turin and joined the celebration. People were all out in the streets, singing, kissing, and playing music. He heard the Italian national anthem, and other songs about freedom. He realized that the war was finally over.