On September 8, 1943, Italy signed an armistice with American and English forces, betraying its alliance with Germany and formally opting out of combat operations in World War II. At the time, the newspaper editor and writer Giovannino Guareschi was a lieutenant of artillery on active duty in Alessandria, and because he refused to swear allegiance to Hitler or Mussolini, German officers seized and shipped him north as a prisoner of war. He spent the next twenty-one months confined in Poland and Germany.
To help himself survive captivity, Guareschi kept both a daily diary and a more extensive journal. In these notebooks that he hid from prison officials, Guareschi wrote about everything, from his struggle with hunger and loneliness to his awareness of how the hardships of camp life changed
Citation: Perry, Alan. "Diario Clandestino". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 September 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=32041, accessed 11 December 2023.]