Italian War Prisoner’s Letter Delivered After 72 Years

A short letter written by an Italian soldier in a German prisoner of war camp has finally been delivered to his next of kin in Villorba, Venice. Italian military officer Ferruccio Pasin, was captured by Axis forces in Lancenigo, near the Veneto town of Villorba in late 1943 – shortly after Italy had surrendered to the Allies and declared war on Germany. Nazi forces deported him and other Italian prisoners to a military internment camp at Luckenwalde, 50 miles south of Berlin. From there he sent a postcard home, reassuring his family he was still alive.

“Dear Father,” begins the letter, “I find myself well at the camp and hope you are doing well too. Let me know how things are back home. Don’t worry about me, I hope to embrace you again soon. Send everyone my love, Ferruccio.”

But the letter was never delivered. A postmark shows it arrived in Treviso on January 2, 1944, but was lost amid the chaos of war. The letter stayed lost until it was recently found in post office archives by a researcher. Fortunately, the researcher was able to track down the soldier’s next of kin. Ferruccio survived his ordeal at Luckenwalde, and died in 1981 at age 66. To make it back to Italy after the war, Ferruccio fled Germany by grabbing on to the undercarriage of a train bound for Verona. From there he walked the 140 miles home to Villorba. Now, more than 72 years after his agonizing journey, his letter has finally made it home too.

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