On August 12th, 1944, Nazi Waffen-SS troops, aided by local Fascists, killed 560 civilians – 130 children – in the little village of Sant’Anna, in the hills above Pietrasanta in northern Tuscany, as part of their campaign against the Italian Resistance movement. The massacre is a dark moment in the already dark annals of the history of WWII.
Because of political pressure from the Italian Fascists after the war, the investigation dossiers lay in a “cabinet of shame” in Rome. It is only recently that the ramifications of the event have been discussed openly – and what happened on that dark day, have been fully examined by the Italian government. The German government has closed and then re-opened proceedings against the last surviving soldiers who participated to the massacre.
Tuesday, the 12th of August, 2014, marks the 70th anniversary of the dread deed, and the little village in the Apuan Alps plans events to commemorate the massacre. On Tuesday official celebrations of the 70th anniversary take place at the church and monument of Sant’Anna; the Mayor of Pietrasanta will be present. On Wednesday, the American painter and sculptor Joseph Sheppard’s “Orrori della Guerra” (Horrors of War) art exhibition opens in Pietrasanta. The rememberances continue on the 19th with events at San Terenzo Bardine.
Some young folk – winners of the national “Sant’Anna di Stazzema: il passato, il presente, il futuro” contest (which was produced by the Ministero dell’Istruzione, Università e Ricerca, the Comune of Stazzema, the Parco Nazionale della Pace, the Unione dei Comuni della Versilia, and Anpi and Insmli) have set up a blog, which contains documents and interviews.
The blog is called Oraioso, and we link to it here, the hashtag is #KNOWIKNOW.
We direct you to a Wikipedia article on the massacre of Sant’Anna, linked here.
There is an annual organ music festival which takes place at Sant’Anna. The 2014 “Organo della Pace” festival is taking place these weeks, we direct you to a page with previous posts … with the program, linked here.
The photo above is from the Oraioso blog.