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THE MEMORY - lunedì 24 giugno 2024 

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Before the slaughter

Nothing let to forebode...

During the second world war, Versilia was the west front of the “Gothic Line” and one division of Waffen-SS stationed in the area extending from the Serchio river (at the boundary of the province of Pisa) to the Magra river (at the boundary of the province of La Spezia).

A nazi-fascists’ order imposed to the civilians, who lived in that area, to evacuate it; they had to go to Sala Baganza, a municipality on the other side of the Appennino’s mountains, in the province of Parma. However, this order was impracticable because it was impossible to transport that big mass of people, animals and provisions without conveyance. In any case, the civilians, living in the valley of that area, had to go to the safer villages on the top of the mountains.

For this reason Sant’Anna di Stazzema received hundreds of refugees. In this way, its population quadrupled and it amounted at 1500 units. In that situation the problems were many: how to find a refuge? How to find some food?
On the 30th of July 1944, there was a fight between the partisans of “X bis brigata Garibaldi” stationed on Ornato mountain and the German troops; it finished with the Nazis’ withdrawal and the transfer of the partisans to a more interior area, towards the area of Lucca.

On the 5 th of August, the Nazis ordered the evacuation of Sant’Anna di Stazzema. However, few days later, this order was deleted. In this way the normal life of the inhabitants continued. Nothing let to forebode the imminent burst of the Nazis’ fury.

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