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1943 - 1945: The imprisonment

In 1943 Giovannino Guareschi is imprisoned by the Germans in the barracks of Alessandria.
With the arrest begins for him a long series of transfers from an imprisonment field to the other, from Germany to Polland.

During his imprisonment, in 1944, his novel Il marito in collegio is published. But he is so hungry and has to suffer many privations every day, that the publication of the book leaves him almost indifferent, as the sheets of paper cannot be eaten.

From a letter by the imprisoned Giovannino to his family, written in February 1943:

I go on writing to you without hoping to receive an answer and telling you always the same things: that is, I have had no news from you since September and from Pino since July.
I’m quite well, but the winter is really cold. I’m really tired of waiting news from you vainly. My sleeps are troubled, my physical misery is huge. It seems impossible to me that this horrible nightmare could finish. I’m here waiting to be sent to the hard labour, as everybody else. War shows no sign of stopping and only God can help me in this painful trial, that will be the most painful of all also for my health. I think of my children with sadness. Today Carlotta is 15 months, and I haven’t met her yet. Will I see her? Will I meet you again? Only God knows. Be faithful and patient. How do you go on? Do you suffer from hunger?

On the 29th August 1945 he is repatriated and reaches Parma on the 4th September of the same year.

After coming back to Marore, where his family was dispersed during the war, Guareschi family moves once more to Milan.

In 1945 he publishes La favola di Natale, a tale created during the imprisonment.

In this year he sets up the weekly magazine Candido together with Mosca and Mondaini. Guareschi and Mosca remain subeditors of Candido until 1950, when Mosca is relieved by Rizzoli and Guareschi remains chief editor alone until the 10th of November 1957, when Alessandro Minardi takes his place.

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Guareschi nal lager di Czestokowa, Polonia.
Setember 1943
Lager di Sandbostel,
Germany 1944

Lager di Sandbostel,
Germany 1944

Lager di Sandbostel,
Germany, May 1944

Parma, Setember 1945.