Stefano Rotta

Pietro Gnecchi, partisan, miner. Born in 1925 in Bozzi, four houses of sandstone between the country and the pace of Montevacà, was one of the few guys in the mountains without a name to the battle: for all has always been "to Bedonia." Liberated the country from the occupiers, he found poor, in pieces, with no chance of working: the war for him were 29 years of mine in Belgium, 1700 feet below the level of the meadows, in the bowels of coal. It 'also one of the few partisans to have a stele alive: his name is written in the Holy Lake along with that of the partisan Facio, shot by his own comrades. Finally, is the latest in the world born in that group of houses: in the twenties already bled dry by decades of escapes to Europe and America. "I saw them all die," says the other "wolves" Apennine forgotten that site, where not even the Germans were able to stay.

Childhood in Bergamo, aged seven: trade carter, climbs in the pre-Alpine valleys carrying everything. "There were no cars then, I went on up to Lovere." He applied to join the Carabinieri Corps, little more than a boy (while the father is in Africa, a soldier of the imperial ambitions of the Duce), but was on July 25, '43, ('went down fascism ") and its life took wind share. With Facio you are known to Gabanne of Setterone, village hidden at the end of a road of switchbacks up to Pontestrambo, towards Santa Maria del Taro. Both fled: one from jail, after fighting with the gang deer, the other by the army and a part that did not feel her.


"Have the courage to cut the head to one?" She asked. On Cisa finally Gnecchi gets a bayonet. In the weeks before, at the time of the nascent partisan, had not a weapon. He participated in the assault of the railway station Guinadi, the step of Bratello, manned by Republicans.

His experience key binds to the days of the Holy Lake. Nine men (Dante - Facio - Castellucci, Luciano Gianello, Luigi Casulla, Giorgio Giuffredi, Lino Veroni, Giuseppe Marini, Terence Mori, Peter Zuccarelli, Peter Gnecchi) forced to flee a department of about one hundred enemies. Above the names of heroic souls, and the living and vital Gnecchi, these words: "The cry of victory echoed through the valleys and rose up the young Italian."

"There were eight feet of snow," begins to tell. "The surface of the lake a sheet of ice. The Germans were brought to attention by spies. There was full, the parties to Corniglio. We have now achieved. After an hour they managed to surround ourselves. Us inside a hut, their outside, with gray-green uniforms. We take something immediately to barricade the door. "

From that moment he stopped the silence of the ridge, and began, to the latest ammunition, gunfire. On the one hand Italian, the other Italian and German. Civil war, in the house of the animals of the forest and a few, last, pastor. The Nazis demand the surrender. Inside there are people hard. They walked through valleys and valleys on foot, slept on the ground and you are medicated wounds males, with the oldest disinfectant: urine. So Gnecchi recalls the moment that changed everything: "They pulled a hand grenade, with tubes of explosive. Bounced off a branch, came back and exploded. It created a huge confusion between the fascists, we managed to get out racing on the frozen lake. " Their bloody, 16 dead and 36 wounded from the opposite side. Were 23 hours of combat. Among them, without sleep and almost no more hits, including a Sardinian Gazzulla: "We will not go into the hands of the Germans," he said. The history of Facio, lacking four months of life, is known and valiant. On his shooting, Gnecchi says: "It 'was envy." A few words from man to man, 67 years later: "Fighter of confidence, he knew commanding. They killed him with an excuse because he was brave, bothered to a part of the Communist Party. "

Below are other battles, for Gnecchi. One of these is the Hairy, always towards the Passo del Bocco. From the knife bayonet, now has a machine gun. Cool hands of war, when he says "yes" before the altar, beside Lidia Mazzera. And 'April 27, 1946. The two are still living under the same roof: 65 years of marriage. Tells other events occurring at the 12th Brigade Garibaldi and Monte Penna, with the most recent fighting in lower altitudes, and then Fornovo San Secondo. Recalls the flight of a few Germans on the Po, aboard boats stolen. "We won thanks to the people," glosses.

By millesette of Mount Penna, the less millesette mine. Mines of the Second World War, the miner's lantern. From Bedonia to Belgium. From 1950 to 1996. And 'the second act of the life of Peter Gnecchi. In addition to other human beings with the ax and wheelbarrows, to Hades turn even mice, cats and horses. "More than anything because it felt right away gas leaks," explains. Makes career, Gnecchi, and arrives at the head of a group of mines with 3 thousand employees. Not so much a work of direction, as prevention: some died escapes, for leaks and collapses, but could be many more, without his knowledge, and the prompt intervention of those who have seen worse. "Sometimes we worked a month just to retrieve a pair of corpses," recalls.

It goes on to ax, shovels and jackhammers. At the turn of the past and progress. "I took the money," he says, "but I have earned by working." Eight-hour shifts. At the end of career the task more difficult position and trigger the dynamite. Doorstep attacked a leather hat, there was going to undermine. Carefully keep the lantern. And the designs of the mines, highly detailed.
I wonder if you scratch the throat more gunpowder, or coal?