THE HISTORY - mercoledì 22 maggio 2013
The occupation of Italy by the Nazi troops and the military departments of the "Repubblica Sociale Italiana", between 1943 and 1945, provoked more than ten thousand victims among the civil population.
Tuscany, probably for its strategic position, was a territory hardly hit: the slaughters which the Nazi-fascist troops carried out were concentrated from April to August 1944 and were more than 280; they interested 83 municipalities and killed about 4.500 civilians. After the Gustav line’s staving in Cassino thanks to the action of the Allies forces and after the Rome’s liberation on June 4th of 1944, the German army effected an "aggressive retreat" having its pivot in the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines area which control, during the summer of 1944, became fundamental to complete the refolding toward the Gothic line.
From the 8 of September 1943 to April of 1945 the Nazi violence against the Italian civilians reached more than 400 slaughters: at the end, their budget was of about 15.000 victims. It was a long wake of blood accompanying the Nazi troops along their slow retreat from the South to the North of Italy. The Nazi SS troops weren’t alone to commit the slaughters, they were togheter with the Wermacht and the Luftwaffe’s troops and also with the fascist adherent to the "Repubblica di Salò".
Many historians suggested five reasons to explain the slaughters: the Nazi prejudice against Italians about their race or about the “betrayal” of September 8th; the Wermacht and Kesselring’s supreme decision to maintain the Italian territory; the increase of the partisan activity more and more nearest to the civil populations and the Nazi’s will to show strength and superiority.
Immediately, at their coming, the Allied forces (the American and the English armies) collected numerous evidences, like the direct testimonies and the contemporary documentation, to report some inquiries to identify the officers and the soldiers committing the massacres. 400 slaughters were verified but only ten of them allowed to make the trials: there were exemplary sentences in the name of Herbert Kappler, guilty for the Fosse Ardeatine and Walter Reder, guilty for Marzabotto, St. Terenzo and Vinca.
On January 1960, through a simple stamp and an illegal “provisional filing”, Enrico Santacroce, the Military General Attorney, concealed 695 files concerning the Nazi slaughters in Italy. Almost all the slaughters were unpunished, all the procedures got covered with sand and the 15.000 victims couldn’t have their own justice. The reason was the politics: foreground the Cold War and the need to open a new phase of international relationships recovering the relationship with Germany. Finally, in the summer of 1994, the judge Antonino Intelisano unintentionally turned that shameful situation: he was searching the criminal charges to the captain of the SSs Eric Priebke, guilty for the slaughter of the "Fosse Ardeatine", so, in a closet into "Palazzo Cesi" in Rome (Centre of the Military General Attorney), which was for this reason renamed "the closet of the shame”, he found 695 files concerning the Nazi slaughters in Italy.
From 1994 to 1996 every single files was sent to its relating military attorney. So, a new season of trials started: one trial in the name of Priebke, two in the name of Theodor Saevecke (guilty for the slaughter of "Piazzale Loreto" in Milan), one in the name of Friedrich Engel (SS commander in Genoa, guilty for the slaughters in Liguria) who was sentenced to life imprisonment by the military Court in Turin; finally one in the name of Michael Seifert, SS Ukrainian, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by the military Court in Verona.
During 2003, the Military Attorney of La Spezia started the criminal proceeding for the slaughters of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, Farneta (Lucca), Marzabotto and Vallucciole, which brought, during 2005, toward the sentences of Sant’Anna di Stazzema and Farneta.
One of the most controversial matters about the slaughters concerns the memory transmission among the survivors. It was called, justly, "separated memory", because the liability of the killings is sharing among Nazi - which were the real authors of the massacres - and the partisan - which were accused to be, because of their assaults, the motive inciting the massacres.
Really, many slaughters didn’t have need, to be orders, of the partisan’s assaults, because only the suspicious presence of partisan’s brigades in the area was enough.
The nazi-fascists slaughters, surely, were a precise project of "war against the civilians” which was undertaken by the Nazi to terrorize the populations having every kind of contact with the Resistance movement. After the armistice on September 8th 1943, every Italian was transformed, into the Nazi’s mind, in a traitor bandits’ accomplice partisan.
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