The paper reconstructs, through archival research and interviews with witnesses, an almost unknown period (1942-1946) of the biography of one of the most famous jurists of the twentieth century, Aldo M. Sandulli, President of the Constitutional Court, Senator, president of RAI, member of the Science Academy, university professor, lawyer. In those years Sandulli, an artillery lieutenant, was first engaged in combat operations on the Russian front, and then for four years he was a prisoner of war. The article describes the tragic events of the retreat from Russia, reconstructing the path of Sandulli, the time of his capture, and the sufferings of his long imprisonment, up to the time of his return to Italy, in July 1946. This terrible experience certainly played a significant role in Sandulli’s life. In particular, Sandulli devoted his entire existence as a jurist to the protection of the rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual, in order to avoid that the perverse effects of totalitarian ideology could be reproduced in Italy.
Keywords: Second World War, retreat from Russia, Davaj marches, Pow (prisoners of war) camps, constitutional law history