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La zona grigia – complicity and compliance amongst rural women, 1943-1944

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CROUCH END AND DISTRICT U3A MEMBERS' TALK - LIZ SICH

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When the armistice was declared in September 1943, many Italians rushed into the streets and squares to celebrate the news. Both the war against the Allies, and the Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini, had become increasingly unpopular. But celebrations were to be short-lived for, within a matter of days, German forces occupied northern and central Italy, and the population found itself living under Nazi occupation.

Using their diaries and testimonies, Liz's talk focuses on the daily lives of women living on the border of Tuscany and Umbria in 1943-1944 and examines the tension between complicity and compliance in what is known as 'la zona grigia' (the grey zone) as they struggled to keep themselves and their families safe.

Liz Sich spent her working life in and around book publishing. She was Managing Director of Colman Getty (now Four Culture), one of the UK's leading arts PR agencies, until she retired in 2015. Her projects included the opening of the new Library of Birmingham – the largest public library in the UK – The Authorized History of MI5 by Christopher Andrew, World Book Day, the first volume of Charles Moore’s biography of Margaret Thatcher, and novels by Robert Harris and Sebastian Faulks. Following her retirement, she took an MA in European History at Birkbeck College.

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