Last Century Stories about Croatia and Italy: Story of Puse – Part II

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We bring you another part of the excerpts from the book about Puse. Please note, these translations are non-edited and all copyrights are reserved to their respective owners. Authors are looking for possible publishers of the book in Croatia, so if anyone knows how to help, contact us.

Part II.

“The Story of Puse” is intertwined with the terrible story of European nations in this period: born in 1919 in Zadar, which is part of the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but in 1921, in accordance with the Treaty of Rapallo, which follows the Versailles peace treaty in 1920, the city is assigned to Italy. Puse, as young as two, has already escaped with her family to Split at the Croatian territory.

Then… Days of her childhood, teenage years, first loves..
Then.. Nazism, which she experience firs-handed as a student in Vienna..
Then.. World War II, bombing, hunger, difficulties..
Then.. Youth and desire to live in spite of everything, in spite of the times of death..
Then again.. another escape and a refuge in Bari

In this diary, among other things, the incredible courage of two women is highlighted – mother and daughter, Vinka and Puse: neither of them wants to tell the other one her moments of pain, hopelessness and anxiety.

Neither of them wants to tell the other one.. Up until the moment of thruth..

As long as she will be able to, Puse will not tell her mother about the painful years in Italy, from 1945 to 1953, about the disease of her husband, about the economic difficulties of the family facing the post-war period.

As long as she will be able to, Vinka will not tell her daughter, except superficially and informatively, about the unbearable moral violence, a person like her is suffering, a person with heart, a person wise, deprived of her home, belongings and books, forced to live with strangers after the communist regime takes over in Yugoslavia.

Finally, between the lines of this diary, the power, love and determination of two other women comes to sight – mother and daughter, Tea and Manuela.

Tea truly wanted, that the handwriting that her grandmother entrusted her with would become a book for the family and, to be able to translated it into Italian, she spent years teaching herself the Croatian language, which she only knew in spoken form.

Manuela proofread, corrected drafts, worked on the computer as she travelled back in time, discovering her “nona Puse” (grandmother Puse).


You can read the Part I. here.


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