The Allied landing between history and memory
Over the last years, particularly after the Berlin Wall fall, the memory of World War II has emerged as a crucial issue in the historiographical debate. An important role has been played by the oral witnesses which, starting from traumatic events such as the Holocaust, brought attention to the violence experienced by the population during the war. This has lead to a new historiographical approach, which focuses on the subjective experience of the civilians and proposes a new analysis of both the Allied occupation of Southern Italy and the civilians’ involvement in the military occupation. By analysing some recent horal witnesses as well as some recent literature on the Allied landing in Sicily, this essay aims to find the links between the actual war events and the myths and legends around them. It will emerge the gap between the public memory of the Allied liberation of Sicily and the personal memories of the battle of Sicily. While it remains undeniable that the Sicilians were looking forward to the liberation by the Allied troops, this study will point out the civilians’ criticism towards some particular military choices made by the Anglo- Americans. The Italian military defeat remains crucial for the Italians, and recasts the issue of the attitude of Italian people toward the Allied landing and the fascist regime.
Keywords: Memory; War; Myth; Landing