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THE SECRET SIN OF OPI

di Peter D. Cimini (1933)

The priest continued as though he had never been interrupted, – But this happy, comfortable life would change forever when Italy entered World War II.

As Father Mascia talked about the war, the youngsters could see and feel a change in his presentation. He no longer talked with pride in his words, his voice became mournful and his posture that of a defeated man.

– The German command decided to maje a major stand, which included the Sangro Valley. Our beauriful, peaceful valley sourrounded by mountains became a battlefield. We were unable to understand how a valley so peaceful could be shattered by war. Our personal war was given a name by the German military: the Battle of Sangro Line. The Axis powers decided to defend and hold a stretch of land through the Sangro Valley, forty-five miles wide and extending to the Adriatic Sea, with the hope of preventing the Allies from reaching Rome. In August of 1943, the Germans began establishing their forces with two divisions, one placed in the town of San Angelo del Pesco, twenty-eight kilometers inland from the Adriatic Seas, and another division of soldiers in Alfredena, twenty kilometers southeast of Opi. They also employed army garrisons in the towns of Capracotta, Castle del Giudice, Cianni, and Martano.

Daniel could no longed suppress his anger.

– Father, please, you said you would tell us why we are here. I'd like to know about that, not about the war, – he said to the priest.

  • P. D. Cimini, The Secret Sin of Opi, Reed, Bandon 2010, p. 119.