From the First World War to the Second, the European continent was gripped by feverish convulsions, by a malignant and violent impulse, animated by a confused desire for rebirth. War is no longer declared. Solemnly. Even in treaties. While new germs of disintegration run free: the myth of the race, the party, the state. The icy wind of ideologies broke through and tore the peoples of Europe apart. From East to West, nothing seems to be able to resist this impetuous, destructive current, which is oblivious to memory and roots.

At the entrance, a film about the First World War, “the first mass ideological conflict and one of the deepest wounds of modern and contemporary Europe”, is shown on a large screen dominated by a quote from Pope Benedict XV. The images are accompanied by a musical medley: the alpine song “Black Pen”, a fragment of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 “The Scotsman” and the trumpet of the Bersaglieres. The panel “Never again war” recalls the Briand-Kellogg pact signed to sanction the end of all wars. The backdrop of the piece recounts the dates and images of the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century: the faces of Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, their voices accompanied by an endless marching rhythm. At the end of the tunnel is the panel depicting the declaration of war in 1940, a counterpoint to the previous panel ‘Never Again War’. The last panel shows images from the Second World War. It must be considered a true ‘total’ war because of its size, duration, intensity and the commitment of men and resources”. The film is accompanied by the partisan song ‘Bella Ciao’ and fragments of the third movement of Shostakovich’s Symphonies No. 7 and No. 5. The film ends with images of the armistice declaration of 8 September 1943.

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