SunBird American/Italian Club meeting notice

Frank Nechvatal

The February meeting was called to order by President Sciaretta at 6:00 p.m. The minutes of the last meeting were read and financial report was given. Membership reported 32 members present for game night activities. A motion was made to change the bylaws as regards membership. The motion was to open up club membership to anyone interested in the Italian culture. Following discussion, the motion was passed by members present. Following the meeting members played Bingo and noshed on desserts. Our March meeting was a pizza party. The April meeting will be the baked potato buffet on the patio which will start at 5:00 p.m.

The fall of Fascism in Italy: Early into WWII Italy remained out of the war, but with the fall of France, Mussolini decided to capture Savoy, Corsica and the African French colonies of Tunisia and Algeria. However, he was thwarted by Germany signing an armistice with a French group that formed Vichy France. Vichy France was allowed to maintain the African colonies. By the summer of 1940 Mussolini ordered the invasion of Egypt. This move was countered by the British forces. The Brits pushed the Italian army back which caused Germany to send in its Afrikan Korps under General Erwin Rommel. Following the rescue of the Italian army by Afrikan Korps, Mussolini attempted the invasion of Greece but the Italian forces were put to shame by the Greek forces. Again Germany came to the rescue by invading the Balkans and Greece. With the fall of the German Army in Africa, the Allies moved into Sicily and then the Italian mainland. Mussolini was stripped of his power by King Emmanuel III. Italy sued for an armistice with the Allies and shortly after joined the Allies against Germany. Mussolini escaped to Northern Italy and with the help of German occupying forces set up a puppet state, the Italian Social Republic. As Allies moved northward the Italian resistance did a great deal to undermine Germany control. In June of 1944 Rome was freed of Germany occupation. The final Allied victory to free Italy came on May 2, 1945, shortly before Germany surrendered on May 8. Mussolini was captured by Italian partisans as he attempted to escape into Switzerland on April 27, 1945. He and his mistress were executed the next day and taken to Milan where their dead bodies were displayed to the public. Next – the end of WW II in Italy and the birth of a republic.