An Oshkosh woman's diary of living in occupied Florence, Italy, in 1943-1944.

Diary, 1943-1944

Frances L. Otis of Oshkosh, in Winnebago Co., spent much of the war living in Florence, Italy. She kept a diary from April 3, 1943, to Sept. 4, 1944, which provides an almost daily account of the privations, fears, injuries, and deaths in a city under Axis occupation and Allied bombardment. We have digitized the entire diary here. Some of its highlights include her descriptions of the murder of 40 boys who refused to join the Facist army, children being shot from the air in Grosseto on Easter Monday, a night of intensive bombing, the cruelty of German soldiers in Italy, the battle for Florence when Allied troops arrived, and her feelings of happiness when the city was finally liberated. The diary is made available online through a partnership between the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television.

Related Topics: World Wars and Conflicts
The World War II Military and Home Fronts
Creator: Otis, Frances Louise, 1875-1952.
Pub Data: Diary, 1943-1944. Original typescript at the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, Call Number: M93-017
Citation: Otis, Frances Louise, 1875-1952. Diary, 1943-1944. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, Call Number: M93-017 Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 5/22/2018