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The Alfa Romeo Avio plant in Pomigliano d'Arco, which had been set up quickly in the pre-war era, seemed to have been born just to be destroyed, first by Nazi mines and then by Allied bombs in 1943.
More than six thousand workers had all been dismissed, and a plan was already underway to recover and transfer the saved materials and machinery to the North.
However, it happened that Ferruccio Parri, the first Prime Minister of Republican Italy, on his first visit to southern Italy, came to pay homage to the five hundred or so workers who, from the ruins, had rebuilt the first departments, saved and started up over three hundred machines, stubbornly defending them from all attempts to take them away.
Putting the production embryo of the future industrial centre of Pomigliano up again was not enough, it was also necessary to create the cultural and social premises. A group of former farmworkers, peasants, bricklayers, craftsmen, transformed in a few factory years into 'metalworkers', took on the great historical mission of being the primordial and local engine of a new world.
They claimed rights and better living conditions for farmers and workers, they nurtured struggles and movements, values and principles of advanced working-class culture, they created new relationships and models of social life, they founded their own Party from scratch, they organized the Trade Union in the factory and the Chamber of Labor in the territory.
Exciting but also troubled path: paid dearly, daily, between excommunications, reprisals and repressions, between resistance of the "old" and opposition of a "new" obstinately different from what they wanted to build.
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