Pietro Secchia 1944

Our War

First published: Il Combattente, January 1944, no. 5;
Source: I Communisti e l’insurrezione, 1943-45, Editori Riuniti, Roma, 1973;
Translated: by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2007.

The fascist traitors, having put themselves at the service of the Germans, are emitting loud squeals for their sudden losses under the blows of the patriots. They speak of cowardly assassins, or horrible misdeeds, etc. What are the fascist hierarchs thinking? That they could betray the fatherland with impunity, place themselves openly in the service of the enemy without running any risk, without paying the price for their ignominious treason? Perhaps they thought they could make war against the Italians without their blood being spilled? What do all these wailings mean, these cries of indignation and fear on the part of the fascist hierarchs? Don’t they know that you go to war with two proverbial sacks, one for taking and one for giving?

The Italian people have declared war on Germany, and never has a war been more just or more sacred. The Italian government, the only legally existing government, interpreting the aspirations and e will of the entire Italian people, gave a legal dressing to this popular declaration of war. From that moment it was the pressing duty of every Italian to fight with all his might and with all his means to chase the Germans from our soil.

However, at that moment hordes of degenerate Italians, calling themselves republican-fascists, betraying as they have always betrayed the interests of the fatherland, aligned themselves with the Germans and are carrying out, at their service, the fight against the Italians, against the fatherland.

There has never been a more infamous betrayal, a betrayal that so cries to heaven for revenge; one which has kindled the most violent reaction on the part of the healthy portion of the Italian people which, despite all they suffered from the fascist regime, was so generous after July 24 as to spare the lives of all the fascist hierarchs. At the time there was no vengeance, no reprisals, no killings.

But after Italy’s declaration of war on Germany, from the moment this horde of traitors placed themselves at the service of the Germans, any consideration became a crime, any toleration a betrayal. From that moment the Italian patriots justly considered and treated as traitors to the fatherland the fascists in service to the Germans.

War is war. If you don’t want to be killed don’t go to war. He who doesn’t want to die by lead shouldn’t betray the fatherland. But these traitors still dare to accuse the patriots of cruelty and cowardice. The entire Italian people know the infamous crimes perpetrated for twenty years by the fascists, know how their German bosses conducted themselves in conquered nations. We are in open war, declared against Nazism and fascism, but the Nazi and fascist canaille doesn’t treat the patriots and partisans like soldiers, like combatants, but make them suffer unheard of tortures and sufferings. And then they have the shamelessness to cry out and get indignant, to try to move public opinion when the hierarchs responsible for so many infamies fall to the lead of a few popular avengers. They fall fulminating, but they fall the way one does in war, without torture, without being the object of cruelty and suffering.

Till now the partisans and the patriots have carried out the war like loyal and strong combatants, without abandoning themselves to the baseness and cruelty that only the fascist hyenas are capable of. But these people should know that if they continue to fail to treat the partisans and patriots as combatants, if they continue to arrest as hostages the family members of those who refuse to serve the Germans, if they continue to massacre innocent citizens in reprisal, well then, the patriots will know how to respond in the same way, to render blow for blow. The patriots, too, have fascist and German prisoners. The patriots, too, could begin to arrest family members of Messrs. Hierarchs and Messrs. Industrialists who collaborate with the Germans. Attention, Messrs Hierarchs and Messrs. Industrialists: don’t complain if your crimes and misdeeds were to fall upon your heads and those of your loved ones. Don’t cry out abut cowardice: you will have willed it.