«pl.it / rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi», 10, 2019, pp. 47-63

Luca Bernardini

University of Milan / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alceo Valcini: un testimone della storia polacca negli anni a cavallo del secondo conflitto mondiale (1933-1946)

Alceo Valcini: a witness of Polish History before and during the World War II (1933- 1946)

ABSTRACT. Alceo Valcini was the Warsaw-based correspondent for the Italian daily “Corriere della Sera” during the years 1933-1946. Valcini encountered great difficulties with the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Aldo Borelli, who was not interested in following the political life of Poland except for Poland’s clashes with the Soviet Union. Valcini managed to publish his articles as long as they stressed the influence of Mussolini’s fascism on Polish political life or if they dealt with Soviet political interference in Central Europe. Valcini was to be replaced by another journalist as correspondent from Warsaw because of his own pro-Polish views and scarce enthusiasm for the aggressive stances of Nazi Germany towards Czechoslovakia and Poland, but he nevertheless managed to witness Hitler’s aggression against Poland. His stories were the first accounts of German persecution of the Polish Jews and Warsaw’s civil population, although they had no chance of publication on the pages of the increasingly pro-Nazi “Corriere della Sera”. Valcini took notice of everything that happened in Poland between the outbreak of the war and the end of July 1944. In  1945, Valcini collected his memoirs in a publication entitled The Calvary of Warsaw, in which he gave a graphic account of life in the city under German occupation. Valcini witnessed to the uprising in the Jewish Ghetto and to the activities of the Polish Secret State. His book was translated into Polish in 1970, after having undergone heavy editing, possibly as a result of intervention by the Communist censors. In any event, Valcini turned out to be one of the very few Italian journalists who – in writing about World War II and the Nazi occupation of Poland – did not fall prey to Goebbel’s Propagandaministerium, unlike the much more celebrated reporter Indro Montanelli.

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