World War II Italian Resistance Fighter Dies Days Short Of 108th Birthday

A 107-year-old Italian World War II veteran who fought the Nazis as a resistance fighter and ended up in a Nazi concentration camp has died.

Pasquale Gissi, known to locals as ‘Grandfather Pasquale’, died on Sunday, 30th June, in Andria, southern Italy.

Local media said that he was set to turn 108 on 7th July and had been born in 1916 to his farmer parents.

He worked as a shepherd while growing up with his three brothers and three sisters, and at 21 years old, he was called up from military service.

He fought in World War II as a resistance fighter and was captured in Albania before being deported to Germany, where he was kept in a concentration camp for two years.

Picture shows Pasquale Gissi, undated. He was the longest-living citizen of Andria, Italy. (Newsflash)

Locals still enjoy hearing his war stories, including the anecdote of his return home on foot from the camp where he had been taken prisoner.

Fascist Italy joined the war on the side of Nazi Germany, but the Kingdom of Italy then joined the Allies in 1943 after they landed in the south of the peninsula.

Local media described him as a resistance fighter and said Pasquale managed to escape the German concentration camp and reach the Italian city of Trent on foot before returning home and marrying his sweetheart, Rosa, who died in 2011 and with whom he had two children, Francesco and Consiglia.

After the war, he worked in agriculture, obtaining a diploma from the prestigious Agricultural Institute and working for large landowners.

Pasquale’s funeral is set to take place at the Gesu Crocifisso church on Tuesday, 2nd July, at 10 am. Officials in Andria said that he was their oldest citizen.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash

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