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In the summer of 1944, Mama was in Florence, a time when the city was occupied and mined by the Germans. They had blown up all the bridges over the Arno except for the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge much loved by the dictator and top Nazi brass. In contrast to the other bridges, the Ponte Vecchio had been mined and all the buildings around it razed to the ground. By surrounding the bridge with rubble General Kesselring wanted to
prevent the Allies from reaching the retreating Germans. While the partisans fought on the hills and the fascists or „franchi tiratori“ fired from rooftops, the Allies continued their advance while similtaneously bombing the city.
My mother, Corona, who was 21 years old, was trapped in Florence...
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