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THE MEMORY - lunedì 24 giugno 2024 

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Order of collaborators

The local fascists were the SS’ guides

At that time, Sant’Anna was more remote than today; to arrive there we had to pass among old mule-tracks from Valdicastello (Pietrasanta) to the village of Sant’Anna in a time of at least two difficult hours of walking. For this reason, about one thousand of evacuated tried to reach these places pratically impervious, in the summer of 1944.

But the 12th of August 1944 Sant’Anna was surrounded by four columns of SS.
The four companies moved from Pietrasanta, around the three of the night, walking across four different paths and arriving at the valley of the village around six in the morning. The steep path was done during the night, and it was useful the presence of an italian guide, knowing the places and being able to reach the village.
Many survivors are agree to confirm to have heard speak not only italian but also the tipical dialect of Versilia.
Enio Mancini declare that in the village of “Sennari” noticed at least two or three shabby masked persons talking in this dialect. “When already arranged to the wall of one house with the machine-gun ready to shoot, the nazist officer arrived giving orders for us incomprehensibles, one of these translated him in a perfect italian language: “go away, fast, run to Valdicastello” ; an other said to the grandmother who was asking for taking her clogs: “ugly old woman, you should be worried for something else”; one other, again, pulling out the cow from the cowshed, pressed the cow: “go brunette”.”
The Battistini’ sisters, Alba and Ada, gived evidence more times of that wounded ox by a gunshot at the head, not yet died, and then a man exclaiming: “bad monster ‘you dont’t want to die”.
Alfredo Graziani, one of the susrvivors, on the 12th of August 1945, published one his memory of that tragic event in which he reported: “it was confirmed that many italians were masked under a uniform of SS”.
Graziani reported also a passage published on the “Nazione del Popolo” 29/6/45 of the writer Manlio Cancogni who textually recited:
“Some names, but especially one, are in the mouths of the inhabitants of the inetre region and we are waiting for, maybe in vain, the definitive tests confirm the thruth of this doubtful.
Italians anyway partecipated at similar executions in other different parts of Italy. Italians that not only were spies, goalers, or torturers in the concentration camps, but they also wanted to partecipate to the massacre of innocents. «They Wanted» it’s the right expression, because they couldn’t be controlled and anyway they could have been easily escape. “They Wanted”, for a criminal vanity, to be not less able of their masters; showing to be able to do what the masters excelled in. They wanted to partecipate at the “Game” without worring to kill human lives.
But for the italians who partecipated to the slaughter of Sant’Anna, how we can talk of indifference? They weren’t persons coming from other regions, they had feelings in this town. It still was the town of their childhood. They knew every form, every colour and even the smell of it. I was the village were they were grown up and to every path, to every house, to every tree and to every face, a part of their life was joined. Much more humanes men were than others, the ones who were killed, their houses full of their life, burned by them, tender grass of their childhood, what they stained of blood.
In that valley, maybe they met eachother during a walk of a Sunday. They sitted at the shadow of the chestnut-trees and watching the valley, they felt a bit happy, they had a more tender love for things and a thankful thought for the life came out from their heart”.

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