Olmes Ognibene was born on 14th March 1923 in Fazzano di Correggio,
in the province of Reggio Emilia.
His parents were farmers and he also worked in the fields until November 1942, when he was enlisted in Navy.
On 12th September 1943 he was captured by German soldiers in Pola and deported to Germany,
where he was detained as “Italian Military Internee” till May 1945. Freed by the Allies, he finally returned home in September that year.
In 1948 he built his first tractor by himself and in 1953 he founded “Officina Ognibene Olmes”.
Since then, Olmes Ognibene dedicated his entire life to his new emerging business: till 1965 he dealt in the conversion of war material and in the development of innovative applications for farming equipments.
Then his Company, then simply named “Ognibene” as his surname, specialized itself in hydraulics, becoming one of Europe’s leading companies in its sector. Olmes Ognibene married Amneris Catellani in 1955. The couple had two children, Claudio and Cristina, that today are at the head of Ognibene Power. On 26th May 2000, Olmes Ognibene was awarded with the title of Commentator of the Italian Republic for his great entrepreneurship. He passed away in November 2017 at the age of 94.

In this autobiographical book full of memories, Olmes Ognibene describes three years of his life, determining years for the fate of humanity, that changed the world.
From the end of 1942 to 1945 history was actually marked by the world conflict that bloodied the European continent and humanity has made a leap backwards, driven by the vortex of concentration camps and the war violence.
Olmes Ognibene in these pages tells his own Italy’s story in that dark period. He is an exceptional witness: he experienced the anguishing violence of the concentration camp, he survived the Nazi harassments and the bombs, he knew the humiliation of being a slave, but he also learned the meaning of life.
Like millions of Italians, he was catapulted into the terrible game of war, torn away from the country town he had never left until then. Like many of his countrymen, he fought to survive, transformed in spite of himself into a hero.

Olmes Ognibene wearing the winter uniform of the Navy, where he was enlisted in 1942. He was declared suitable to perform the job of gunner.

Olmes Ognibene, on the tractor he built by himself, working in the field near the church in Fazzano di Correggio (RE).

Olmes Ognibene in his former office in Reggio Emilia, together with his son Claudio.

Olmes Ognibene, few years ago, in his office at the current Ognibene Power headquarters in Reggio Emilia.