February 23, 1915 – April 4, 1945
Alfonso Cavedale, 1930s (private collection)
Alfonso Cavedale grew up in a large rural family in Bicinicco (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). In the late 1930s, Germany recruited labor from its ally Italy. Alfonso Cavedale worked for several years as an “Axis laborer” in German agriculture. His income provided important support for his family.
Alfonso Cavedale (second from left) as an agricultural worker in Germany, late 1930s (private collection)
Cavedale was drafted in 1940 after Italy entered the war. In September 1943, Italy signed a separate armistice with the Allies. Cavedale, now a soldier, was able to escape capture by the now enemy German troops. He returned to his native village. The occupying forces put Cavedale to work building military installations. In spring 1944, Cavedale came into conflict with soldiers of the Fascist government. They denounced him as a resistance fighter, and Cavedale was deported.
The Cavedale family, 1930s (private collection)
Cavedale arrived at the Flossenbürg Königstein subcamp in Saxony in mid-November 1944 via the Buchenwald concentration camp. At the subcamp, the prisoners labored under extremely harsh conditions building bomb-proof underground hillside shelters for fuel production. In late February 1945, a transport of sick inmates departed for the main camp. Alfonso Cavedale was among those transported. The Flossenbürg clerical office recorded Cavedale’s death at age thirty on April 4.