Sant’Anna di Stazzema

Not to forget

It was the early morning of August 12th, 1944 when nazi troops arrived in the small village of Sant'Anna, a bunch of houses scattered on a hill near a church named after Sant'Anna, in Tuscany, Italy. The area was declared a white zone for displaced people and, in those days, there was no partisan's military activity there.

At dawn the village was surrounded by the German forces, local men hided in the woods not to be deported whilst women, children and the elders remained in their homes because they were civils and no one would have touched them. Despite this, in few hours 560 people were slughtered, most of them were babies. They were locked by nazis in the kitchens and sheds and then killed with grenades and machine guns. After that the SS set fire to the village, to erase everything.

It was no revenge or retaliation, later on the investigations proved that it was an intended terrorist act aimed to wipe out the village and all the inhabitants to cut every link between civils and partisans in that area.

In 2005 the military court of La Spezia condemned with a life sentence ten former SS officiers for the slaughter of Sat'Anna di Stazzema. After sixty-one years the story came to an end but no one will ever forget the fallen in that savage.

Thanks to the museum of Sant'Anna di Stazzema who authorised me to publish the photos.