National Women’s History Month and the Women in My History

National Women’s History Month and the Women in My History 1024 576 Reader Views
Susan Violante
Managing Editor

March is National Women’s History Month, so I took the time to think of some of the strong women in my family who lived through WWII in Italy and Libya. I grew up knowing these women Learning so many things from them, yet I knew nothing about what they had gone through until I was older. But the reality of having experienced such horrible war is that survivors are PTSD sufferers who are trying to forget what they went through and so will not talk about it. What I learned caught me by surprise as I realized that they were truly unsung heroes.

  • Nonna Maria: She was my father’s mother. When I saw her last, she was sitting outside her front door, selling eggs from her daughter’s farm in Sicily. I did not know then that during the war, while she lived in Tripoli and her husband was in the battlefield, she risked her life and her kids’ lives to hide her Jewish babysitter when her family was taken by the Nazis until her uncle went to get her two years later.
  • Nonna Beatrice: My mother’s Mom. I saw her last right before right before I got married, when I went back to Venezuela to get some things for my wedding. At that time, she didn’t recognize me and thought I was my mother…She not only traveled to different villages during bombardments looking for relatives that were stranded to bring them back home…she actually went as stowaway in a boat from Sardinia to Rome to rescue her older brother (official from the Royal aviation) who was being persecuted by the fascists and Nazis. She found him hiding inside a bakery’s oven and took him with her back home.
  • My mother, Silvana: I just lost my mother to cancer last summer, June 2020, she was 87 years old. I was fortunate to learn about her history while she was alive. She was 7 years old and living in Sardinia when the war began. As a tween towards the end of the world, she sometimes would help her father recover bodies after bombardments.

These women were some of many who during harsh times the press on to do what is needed to survive while helping others do the same. They face their reality head on reaching deep inside for strength. The events mentioned above are just one from many, and I am grateful to have them as role models. Every difficult time I’ve had to face in my life seems like nothing with why they faced, and so harvesting strength to keep moving forward is easier for me as I find inspiration within the women in my history.

Remember and celebrate the women in your history this month!

  • Anne

    What a beautiful and captivating post about your grandmothers and mother. I am glad that you learned about their bravery, courage and heroism during the most frightening time of their lives. Being Jewish I have read many uplifting stories about these selfless and wonderful sacrifices.

    • Susan Violante

      Thank you Anne! I was talking to my Dad a few weeks ago (he lives with me and is now 90 years old) about his childhood, and he re-told my Grandmother’s story to me. It is so important to keep those stories awards to avoid horrible events in History, but also to teach people right from wrong and how important it is to be brave enough to do the right think.

    • Susan Violante

      Thank you for your comment! Sometimes all we we need is to learn from our ancestors to find real heroes and role models…we have never needed them more than in current times…

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