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Rosina (Rose) Swagell

"Don't cry for me. Be happy!"

Despite a life of extraordinary challenges, centenarian Rose can still laugh

Rose, a resilient soul born in a small town in Slovenia in 1922, carries a remarkable story of survival and strength.

Her early years were filled with happy memories on her family’s farm, but the onset of World War 2 and the rise of Mussolini’s fascists dramatically altered her world. As her brother was forced into the Partisans, teenage Rose found herself imprisoned in an Italian concentration camp. The War turned her into a refugee in her own country.

Life didn’t become any easier for her after the War. With Slovenia joining communist Yugoslavia, Rose made a daring escape with her husband and two-year-old son across the mountains to Italy. Even their journey to Australia was marked with peril, as they endured a serious measles outbreak on the ship that carried them from Naples to Melbourne, resulting in numerous passenger deaths.

Today, at the remarkable age of 101, Rose stands as a testament to resilience. Her infectious zest for life, vibrant laughter, and enduring spirit serve as a powerful reminder of the incredible challenges she has overcome.

Age in Video
101 years
Date of Birth
8th August 1922
Place of Birth
Stanjel, Kobdilj, Slovenia
Thanks To

Bill Swagell, Anna Priora – Monte Cassino War Tours, Marilinda Figliozzi

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