“I was born in January 1928, during the coldest month ever recorded. First thing after I was born; I fell on my head.
My Mother picked me up; wrapped me in a clean cloth and layed in bed till daylight.
As I already mention, I was born under Italian Fascist regime, which with persisted demand to deny our nationhood, national past and identity, and with force intrusion to use the one, and only language: Italian.
I will mention one example: at school during launch time, even that all of us kidswere Slovenian, we were forbidden among ourselves to use our mother language.The Italian teacher appointed a Slovenian pupil as supervisor, with the list of namesof all of us, with instruction: any one using the mother tongue would get a tick forevery word, following his name on the list.
Many pupils would rather not talk, for fear of reprisal. My character, tent to be revolting, in seeing wrong dealing, therefore I kept saying
Slovenian or dialect words. The mentioned teacher’s puppet has enjoyed himselfadding more ticks on the list of names. On the termination of lunch time, the list of offenders would be presented to the teacher. The ticks were counted and as usual, I was the worst offender with 36 ticks following my name. The teacher happily picked up an ordinary school writing book with 36 pages and presented it to me by saying: ‘Gomicelli!. (Italian version for my original surname: Gomizel). For tomorrow’s homework, you write all 36 pages and in every line: a schuola si parla soltanto in Italiano’. (at school! you only speak Italian.) Like it or not, I was busy writing all afternoon and evening. With my temper, I would normally revolt, but my father strictly demanded, to continue on and doing as, I was directed by the fascist teacher, because only a few weeks before, my father was threatened by the same teacher for singing in Slovenian in a public place. Just imagine? How humiliating for the whole family not being able to resist; without being persecuted!
Naturally, us kids knew our parents’ resentment toward the regime, I therefore felt obliged, to be mischievous. Our little revolution. Yes, a was aPicollo Ribelle! (Little revolutionary).
Then there was wartime, and Italy capitulated, and retreats at front lines were received with great satisfaction.
September 1943, at my age of fifteen and half, thank goodness; fascist Italy crumbled. We all cheerfully greeted the unconditional surrender of our Italian Monarchy, because we had enough of the Italian nationalistic pressure, wanting us to became good and loyal Italians.
They mistakenly judged us. They forgot, that we have been born on hard rockground, therefore hard as rock; to change us by force – no, we were not prepared to accept that any more.
Soon after Italian capitulation, the Slovenian partisan, or anti Fascist guerilla fighters or rebels, that have been already illegally active for last two years, just poured from everywhere; encouraging young boys and girls to join in. At the same time; on all available walls; busy, glued propaganda slogan: (borba za svobodo, democracijo in kruh] – FIGHT FOR LIBERTY, DEMOCRACY AND BREAD. Myself being; by nature a bit of adventurer, they made a great impression on me. I only needed a hint from someone, a bit of encouragement, and I would join, and be part of the elite, yet looking at the glued slogan, I have not actually knew the meaning of two words: LIBERTY and DEMOCRACY. Probably; because under fascist regime, such words were by all means offensive, therefore; never heard of them. But the word: BREAD, sounded more than attractive. Fight for bread? By all means, was most important! The other two words; for the time being, had no meaning, and were not important at all.
After the war I was arrested and taken to Goli otok, a small, rocky island in the Adriatic Sea.
My offence: I was accused of SPREADING ENEMY PROPAGANDA and SLANDERING PEOPLES’ AUTHORITY.
Detailed description of that time is in my file in English My Life.
After the release, I migrated to Italy and than to Australia.
I am happy here with my darling wife Dragica and children Henry and Vivienne.
Book: MOJE ŽIVLJENJE – MY LIFE, autobiography, 2015 – not available in digital form yet.
Original in Slovenian Language: MOJE ŽIVLJENJE
Original in English Language: MY LIFE
Written originally in Slovenian language, also translated into English by Virgil Gomizel
More information on Virgil’s book MOJE ŽIVLJENJE
Book launch in Melbourne, Trieste, Italy, and Ljubljana, Slovenia