Andor Brakus

* 1952

  • "I was privileged, because I had parents who did not raise me with hatred, they never told me ´they took this from us, they stole that from us´. I've always been told that things happen in life and that you just have to roll up your sleeves and rebuild your life. Unfortunately, there are those to whom it (unfortunes) never happens and those to whom happen very often."

  • "I am one of the many aspects of the ones ... who paid with their goods and their culture for the war damages that Italy caused. It was the simplest thing, because, after all we weren't Italians, we became Italians in spite of ourselves. We were of Italian culture, I speak of nationality ... the consequences of this commodification of the people, which took place after the war."

  • "And so this populism continues to grow, there are those who say we are all fascists, those who tell us that we are communists, but we are just us. We are good people who have been wronged, a very great wrong, a cowardly wrong, because it has not only damaged our pockets, as wealth comes and goes, but has damaged the hearts and brains."

  • "I just want to point out a detail, which I would like to be understood, when you are in a structure of this (refugee) camp, with these blankets that separate (the people), you do not live only your life, you also live the life of others. You hear the lovers stifle their moans, the cries of those who have left home and do not know how to react. You feel the pain, because people keep getting sick - actually, in places without structures, you get sick more easily, the food was what it was. Then it becomes a collective pain, it is no longer a pain of the individual."

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    Torino, Italia

    délka: 35:39
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The story of a „Fiumano“ born in a refugee camp

Andor a rodiče v uprchlickém táboře
Andor a rodiče v uprchlickém táboře
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

He was born in 1952 in a refugee camp in southern Italy, from a family coming from Rijeka (Fiume). The town was shortly autonomous in 1921, but later it was annexed by Italy. From 1943 it was occupied by Nazi Germany. In May of 1945 it was taken over by the Yugoslav resistance. Today, Rijeka belongs to Croatia. Andor is from a family of „Fiumani“, people of Italian culture in Rijeka . His family include Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Jews. When the town became part of Yugoslavia after the war, Italians were subject to a loss of rights and property. Andor’s young mother tried to escape, but she was captured. Her punishment was forced labour, three months of hard work building a railway in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After her return, she got married. It wasn’t until 1952 that the family could leave Rijeka for Italy. His mother undertook the long train journey while eight months pregnant and Andor was born shortly thereafter in a refugee camp near Bari. Today he lives in Turin and spends his holidays in Rijeka. His son married a Croat woman.