Area intorno all'abitazione presso il cimitero Comunale di Castelnuovo dove negli anni'30 Vittorio lavorava e abitava con la famiglia e coltivava un orto (foto del 2005).
Via Garibaldi nei pressi dell'allora Osteria Sturla e casa Sottotetti dove è avvenuta l'irruzione dei 7 partigiani a liberare Arona, prigioniero di Camillo Rabbino e Vittorio Malosti (foto scattata nel 2005 - il nome della via non è cambiato da allora)
La facciata esterna della casa di Tortona in C.so Alessandria, dove la moglie e le figlie di Vittorio Malosti si trasferirono nel Febbraio 1945 e dove Vittorio cercò di ricongiungersi con loro a guerra finita (foto scattata nel 2005).
Ecco come appariva il 3 gennaio 2011 la ex caserma dei carabinieri di Castelnuovo (che il 24 gennaio del 1945 divenne sede del distaccamento della Brigata Nera e - dalla fine della guerra - sede del comando di zona della 108a Brigata partigiana "Paolo Rossi") dove nel maggio 1945 Vittorio fu detenuto al di fuori di qualunque legalità, seviziato ed esposto alla gogna pubblica (su un balcone ancora oggi esistente) prima di essere ucciso di nascosto dai suoi carcerieri. L'edificio, collocato in pieno centro di Castelnuovo, si trova all'incrocio fra le attuali vie Pietro Giglio e Galileo Galilei; la foto è stata scattata da via Umberto I.
La lapide (vuota) che commemora Vittorio al cimitero di Tortona (foto scattata nel 2010).
La fonte partigiana delle informazioni inerenti in special modo gli avvenimenti del 6 gennaio 1945 è il libro "Cinquant'anni fa. Per non dimenticare" di Agostino Arona e Osvaldo Mussio, Quaderni della Biblioteca Comunale di Castelnuovo Scrivia, 1993, pp.50 e segg. In particolare si è fatto riferimento alla prima parte del libro, quella scritta da Arona, intitolata "Appunti di un comandante partigiano". Tale fonte è stata scoperta da noi solo dopo l'uscita di "Sconosciuto 1945". Nonostante il titolo incentrato sulla memoria, il libro pecca di un totale vuoto di memoria laddove manca di raccontare le gesta "eroiche" compiute la notte del 28 maggio 1945. Se fossero stati così sicuri di stare dalla parte della ragione, perchè censurare l'uccisione di un esponente della ormai ex Brigata Nera? Avrebbero potuto vantare una ulteriore impresa epica! Chissà perchè non ne hanno mai parlato...
Forse ancora oggi qualcuno che in quegli anni era a Castelnuovo o che in passato ha raccolto confidenze di chi lo era, sa qualcosa e potrebbe aiutare a indicare dove potrebbero trovarsi i resti di Vittorio. Approfitti dell'occasione e, sia pure tardivamente, riferisca quello che sa.
Tutti gli uomini non sono uguali ma nella vita vera si dimostrano diversi l'uno dall'altro, quindi quando diciamo che bisogna ricordare il passato, ricordiamoci anche sempre di questa semplice verità.
Evviva la Resistenza ed i suoi nobili valori, ricordiamocene sempre, facciamo però anche caso ai comportamenti di chi se ne è fatto scudo per fini molto meno limpidi e non dimentichiamoci nemmeno di quelli.
Questo, perchè non è vero che censurado gli errori si faccia un buon servizio ai giovani, al futuro.
Vittorio Malosti , who immigrated in 1929 to Castelnuovo Scrivia (Alessandria) from Polesine , a mild man of humble origins , for a number of years worked as the caretaker of the local cemetery. During this time the life of Vittorio , his wife Beatrice and daughters Gina and Angelina flowed happily and peacefully in the house intended precisely to the caretaker. Then Vittorio, around the end of the '30s, dissatisfied with the low salary, left that job and went to become a shoemaker on his own. This work lasted for some time until the last convulsive year and a half of World War II , when he enlisted first as a shoemaker and then as a soldier in the Black Brigade of Tortona.
In early 1945 , Vittorio Malosti was 45 years old . An unhappy day , the Epiphany (6 January 1945) , while he was at his home in Via Milano in Castelnuovo with his wife and daughters, he was tracked down and called back to duty by a fellow soldier much younger ( born in 1921 ), Camillo Rabbino , who the day before had received from the commander of the Black Brigade in Tortona , Celeste Gianelli, the task of identifying , with the help of local informants , a person specified by these . Agostino Arona, a local partisan leader , was arrested by these two soldiers of the Back Brigade in the street in Castelnuovo , but it was a dangerous situation as they lacked a means of transport and petrol to bring the prisoner to Tortona to the Black Brigade Headquarters and in the surrounding area there were many partisans. The two wardens and the prisoner had been waiting for several hours in a room in the centre of Castelnuovo, when a blitz occurred that saw the participation of seven men. Three armed men burst into the room and a shootout ensued. Camillo Rabbino died on the spot and Vittorio Malosti fell to the ground alive but unconscious while Arona vanished with his group. Nothing, even in the version of the story told by the same Arona, suggests that Vittorio Malosti hurt anyone , but this same episode and the subsequent raids and actions of the Black Brigade of Tortona in the area surrounding Castelnuovo and Tortona may have been an excuse for him to be hunted to death even after some time, after the end of the war.
In fact, in the days following the end of the war, May 4 to be exact, Vittorio tried to reunite with his family which in the meantime had moved to Tortona. In that circumstance , presumably after being noted by some local partisan in Tortona who reported to his "colleagues" of Castelnuovo ,he was captured by a band of partisans from Castelnuovo near thetown hallofTortonawhere he had gone to regularise his family position at the council registry in relationship to his family that lived there already. He was carried on a truck to Castelnuovo Scrivia where , in the former local police station at that time used as a prison and headquarters of the partisans. Here, several times, for about a month , was tortured and exposed to public pillory from a balcony of the building , finally to be killed on the night between 28 and 29 May 1945, without any trial or resemblance of legality.
Vittorio Malosti was maybe killed for simple personal dislike by someone or because he had the misfortune of being targeted by uncontrolled elements among the partisans. Perhaps those who had the duty to keep things under control (the partisan leaders ) were themselves involved in the outburst of violence put in place, with the same cowardice demonstrated on January 6 (in all, 7 against 2) , with the aggravating circumstance that after the war he was the unarmed prisoner in front of many armed men. Perhaps the partisans of Castelnuovo wanted to extort from the poor Vittorio names and related information eg . informants of the Black Brigade, in order to take revenga against others, too. Perhaps Vittorio could not or would not speak and - given that it was then almost June and the unwarranted extension of detention in the former police station was becoming increasingly difficult to justify with respect to the new authorities - those " heroes " of the 108th Brigade decided to suppress rather that leave to the affection of his loved ones with high probability that he might talk, for example about the torture he was subjected to. Perhaps after a short time the partisans were required to vacate the premises of the former barracks for the return to its normal functions and decided not to release the detainees but simply to suppress all or at least part of them. Or maybe a combination of these reasons . Whatever the motivation, the cold-blooded murder after the end of the war, as well as an act of great cowardice, clearly appears to have been a terribly excessive and unjust action . Vittorio certainly in those weeks was not the only one to be locked up in that building of horrors and it seems likely that, besides him, several other prisoners were murdered. Of these other victims it is unfortunately not possible, at present, know the names. This lack of information does not make what happened less cruel or horrible.
Some years ago, an empty tomb , with his name and a picture of him , was installed by some family members in the cemetery of Tortona , the city where his wife and daughters continued to live after the war, because no one who knew ever spoke out, if only to indicate the place where Vittorio was killed in the May 1945 thus preventing the family to be able to ascertain the whole truth or even simply place a flower or cry in front of his remains . In the months following the "disappearance" of Vittorio Malosti, despite the tremendous pain and loneliness in the climate of the moment, his wife and daughters have gathered the necessary courage and entered the textile store of Agostino Arona, not so much for an explanation about what happened (it would have been too much to expect, perhaps!), but at least to know where the body of the husband/dad lied. The former partisan commander, who necessarily knew, just shook his head , and replied that he could not help. This attitude , perhaps was even worse than the previous one because it shows the absolute level of meanness reached by those who could have done much to alleviate some of the pain in totally innocent people.
The right to commemorate their dead with dignity is one of the most basic of all civil rights , recognized even by the conventions of war. In this case, the "partisan heroes" who ask everyone to keep alive the memory of the events of the war, however, show instead a great tendency to amnesia regarding those details which are not in their favor. In the case of Vittorio Malosti, the object of their forgetfulness certainly to covers their act of murder but also the violation of rights that distinguish civilization from barbarism like that of denying the possibility of a proper burial of his remains. And this is perhaps the most serious act, even worse than the murder they committed with the war abundantly over.
It 'obvious that the "heroic partisans", protagonists of the Resistance in Castelnuovo in the month following the liberation ofItaly, did not simply forget the inconvenient part of the truth, but rather just CANCELLED it . Which is much , much worse. This does not testify in favour of their good faith. SOONER OR LATER , THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES OUT. As Agustino Arona asserts in the book cited below , p.84 referring to a letter, signed Cudega (his name as a partisan ) addressed to the partisan Gust , " ( ... ) any action that you do,tomorrow will be brought to the attention of the people". Since then, for several decades the same character and his accomplices have "forgotten" to tell the whole truth about " any action that you do" , in particular those committed by them in May 1945. Although it has been a long time, it is right that others take steps to tell the people the truth , in the spirit of the noble sounding words that he had written then but then was unable or unwilling to comply with.
For decades the mythical image, one-sided and without faults created around the Italian Resistance and the weakness of Vittorio Malosti's family (wife Beatrice and two daughters : if there had been sons it's easy to predict that they would have been be eliminated too!), under shock following what happened, explained the failure to publicly address the issue. Only after the release of "Il Sangue dei Vinti" by Giampaolo Pansa, Vittorio Malosti’s family have found the courage to tell this story , which is true and proven in every detail, except for what his killers wanted to keep hidden.
The noblest democratic and civil values of the Resistance, as written into the Italian Constitution - shared by us who have created this website - are likely to be dwarfed and overshadowed by the denial of the right to tell all the truth, including the errors and horrors of some partisan individuals and groups. Particularly bad was the practice to carry out the killings of people and then not reveal where their bodies were situated . Even today the grandchildren of Vittorio Malosti do not know where , one month after the end of the war , their grandfather was killed , and - presumably - buried. This is not worthy of a civilized country .
More details on this true story can be found in the chapter " The Shoemaker " in the book "Unknown 1945 " by Giampaolo Pansa ( Sperling & Kupfer publisher ), where Vittorio Malosti appears by his initials, VM.
The partisan source of information especially regarding the events of January 6, 1945 is the book " Fifty years ago . Lest we forget " Agostino Arona and Osvaldo Mussio , Quaderni della Biblioteca Pubblica di Castelnuovo Scrivia , 1993 pp.50 and following. In particular , reference was made to the first part of the book , written from Arona, entitled "Notes of a partisan commander ." This source was discovered by us only after the release of " Unknown 1945 " . Despite the title focused on memory , the book suffers from a total loss of memory when it comes to the "heroic" feats undertaken on the night of 28-29th May 1945. If they were so confident of being right about that action , why is it necessary to continue to avoid talking about the killing of a member of the Black Brigade? They could boast another epic undertaking ! Why did they never speak? Maybe someone who in those years was in Castelnuovo or in the past got to know something about what happened, could help indicate where the remains of Vittorio could be found. Please take advantage of the opportunity and, even if belatedly , report what you know.