Welcome back to Lessito, where we're making our second visit to Darna comuni. The province is typically synonymous with fruits, rolling hills and bountiful harvests, but Yewell village has a darker secret that is hidden behind the traditional Lessitan setting.
Under British rule, the village of Yewell was founded and prospered as a small farming community, like dozens of others in the southern plains of Cattala. During the Second World War, the kingdom was occupied by Italian and German forces fighting in North Africa and, in 1943, fighting to prevent the British and Americans from getting a hold on southern Italy. Sonnenshein was created after the fall of Celeste and the execution of the King of Cattala. Loyalists and monarchists alike continued to support the King and were bitterly opposed to Italian occupation, as well as the presence of German troops heading to the North African Campaign.
Throughout the three years of occupation, thousands of dissidents were detained at Sonnenshein and hundreds never returned. The area became a symbol of the harsh treatment the anti-fascist population endured as those that survived told their tales of torture, prolonged imprisonment and starvation.
Those that died during internment at Sonnenschein were buried near to the camp's headquarters in Yewell. The farm that was used as a burial site was abandoned after its owner committed suicide during questioning after spying for the resistance movement on the camp, and is now partially a memorial for those that died in the area during the war.
Yewell is still overshadowed by the infamous prison, which was the most high profile in all of Cattala. Due to the relatively short period of time that German officers and generals were based in Cattala, the country had few other internment camps when liberated in 1943 and the southern Italian troops who spent much of the war in Cattala were less inclined to the cruel torture methods of their anti-Comintern allies.
The buildings occupied by secret police and army officers during the war have all since returned to their residential or agricultural purposes, with many reflecting on their wartime use through name or small memorial plaques, which dot the roads of Yewell village. Only two buildings from the camp remain, the former headquarters of the officers in Lessito, with cellars and subcellars filled with concrete. After the war, the returning villagers decided to try and remove all trace of the fascist occupation from their community. But the shadow of shame still hangs over Yewell.
Next time, we'll be back to Lessito's old self, visiting a less harrowing area of the province.