Early this month I received an e-mail from Loris Ferretti, son of Onelio Ferretti. Onelio was a young man in the comune of Montelparo, in the Marche region of Italy, during World War II.
“My father told me the Americans [who had escaped from Camp 59] hid with him in a room of a church [Chiesa S. Michele or the Church of Saint Michael] in the village, where in the night my grandmother secretly brought them food, using a ladder that was in that room. My father told me he helped the Americans hide, but he never revealed their names. Then the war ended and they returned to their country. That is all know of this little story.”
“The monks walled up (closed) that room to hide the gold, precious objects of the Church. They opened that room about two months ago. That room was used to hide the fugitives of Camp 59. You could not get up there without a ladder.”
“The room was closed by the monks to hide the gold and valuables during the war, for fear the Germans would steal them. You could only enter from the window using a ladder that was kept inside. My grandmother and other women of the country brought the men food by pulling on a rope. The food was sent up and down in plastic buckets on a rope.”
“I am sending you pictures I took in the hiding place where my father was with the prisoners—the church and the room. There was little light. A door [to this room] was opened just this year.”