Luciano J. Iorizzo of Oswego, former professor at SUNY Oswego and former city historian, is the editor of a newly published book about World War II through the eyes of Italian soldiers who were held as prisoners of war around the globe.
“Italian POWs Speak Out at Last: Italian Prisoners of War Break Their Silence” by Carlo Ferroni is published by Teneo Press.
The book consists of four sections, with Italian veterans telling of their experiences before and after the war in Italy, the fighting in North Africa, Greece, Yugoslavia, Russia and Italy itself, and their time as prisoners in the United States, Germany, Britain, India, South Africa, Australia and other countries.
The former POWs recall their constant wartime hunger, homesickness, and hellish vulnerability to death, disease and parasites, but one said he still felt he benefited from his capture and imprisonment.
“I learned a lot from the ordeal. You could see reality,” he said. “It was a great experience, an experience that taught you what man was really like when naked and stripped of everything.”
The author and Iorizzo have been long acquainted through the American Italian Historical Association. Iorizzo is a founding member and past president of the association.
Ferroni taught at Ashland University in Ohio for 30 years. He received his doctorate in history from Kent State University.
Iorizzo is a professor emeritus of history at SUNY Oswego, where he too taught for 30 years. He earned his doctorate in American history from Syracuse University. He is an authority on organized crime and has published extensively. His books have been translated for readers around the world.