75 years after the SS massacre: the message of The children of Sant’anna

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12. August 1944, died in the village of Siria, Adele, Enrico and Enio to Laugh. German soldiers killed their mothers, siblings, grandparents, friends. The Survivors share your memories and an appeal.

The Survivors Siria Pardini shows her parents house where her dead mother lay in state

“My mother and one other asked for mercy for the newborn, holding her in the arms. But you were shot.” Siria and Adele Pardini sit in the Church of the Tuscan mountain village of Anna di Stazzema, Sant’. Shortly before the 75. The anniversary of the massacre, signs, the sisters, the 17 – to 26-Year-old from the “Campo della Pace”, a peace camp for young Germans and Italians, their memories of the 12. August 1944. Later, you open your parents ‘ house, in the Siria Pardini her mother for the last Time has seen, laid out with a head shot.

Mother and Baby – Sant memorial to the memory of the SS massacre in the mountain village of’Anna di Stazzema

The eight-year-old Siria was on 12.8.1944 with the father and three siblings on the way to the animals of the family in an olive grove. When the Germans Sant’Anna approached over the surrounding passes, leaving most of the men in the village, because they feared to be to work deported. Women and children, nothing happens, of which all were convinced.

The latest victim: Anna was 20 days old

Adele Pardini, at the time, almost five years, was placed in your District Coletti in the 25 to 30 women, children and old people who drove the German soldiers in front of a house wall “by size”. “I was one of the Smallest,” she says. You take a deep breath and sighs. The soldiers fired guns, with guns and machines. As her mother, and shortly thereafter, all of the other broke under the shots together, she says, opened by the pressure of the body, a door behind her. Her older sister Cesira Adele and another sister moved in the Stall behind it, both by grazing shots slightly injured.

In front of this wall and shot by the German soldiers shot on Adele Pardini and the other residents in the District of Coletti

The Germans set fire to it all, says Adele Pardini, then moved: “To get out, I had to run over my mother. She was in the door.” Her sister, Cesira took the mother, the whining Baby Anna from the arms, and a one-year-old boy they pulled out injured among the dead. Little Anna, the youngest child of the nine Pardini-siblings, was only 20 days old. She suffered life-threatening injuries, as well as your big sister, Maria (16). Maria was full of holes “perfectly”, says Adele, Pardini. You look at your listeners, some of whom are struggling with the tears. “I think it’s enough now,” she says eventually.

Enrico Pieri survived troops, the massacre of the German SS, because he has the girl in their hiding place called under the stairs: “I was 10 years old, my family consisted of dad, mom and two sisters.” He had to witness as German soldiers shot his whole family. Also, the grandparents died, uncle and aunts. “Of the 12. August 1944 in Sant’anna was hell,” he says, the peace camp participants at the Meeting in Pietra Santa in the level of the Mediterranean sea, where he lives today. From here, a part of the German soldiers had risen in the night to Sant’Anna: “In three hours they killed more than 560 people.” He clears his throat again and again.

Sant’Anna di Stazzema was in 1944, only narrow paths to reach. The German soldiers came from several sides

Many hundreds of refugees

This number of victims was determined on the basis of the bones found shortly after the Second world war. In particular, one could identify only about 400 victims. This was also due to the fact that many hundreds of Refugees from embattled places in the area-come along narrow Paths and mule tracks to the supposedly safe village in the mountains. Since the armistice of Italy with the allies in the autumn of 1943, the previous axis fought powers in Berlin and Rome against each other. Attacks by Italian partisans, replied the German commander-in-chief in many places, with acts of revenge against the civilian population.

The inhabitants of Sant’Anna’s opened for the refugees in the Church and the school, houses and stables. It was hard to feed so many people, reported Enio Mancini. He himself, then six years old, enjoyed it to play with so many kids, most recently on the evening of the 11. August on the Church square. The next Morning, the German soldiers were there. They drove Mancini family from their house in the District of Sennero: hardly down dressed, without shoes, up the steep mountain. “Quickly, quickly”, calls out today, the 81-Year-old with a rough voice in English.

The Survivor Enio Mancini shows how a German soldier shot in the air, so that his family could escape

Eventually, you were alone with a soldier. The gave you a run away character. But then shots were fired. Full of fear they turned, remembers Enio Mancini: you saw that he shot into the air, and escaped.

“Here, you can play”

Other soldiers killed hundreds of people, also Enios best friends Velio and Vilma. Alone on the Church square, over 100 people were shot, with Church benches and furniture covered and lit. The German left Sant’Anna 10 PM: “they sang.” Until that day, the war for the children was only a distant noise, the planes, the allies bombed the German positions for him in the secluded Sant’Anna as a game, he recalls: “Then I saw scorched Dead, everywhere, the smell of burning flesh, as I understood it.”

Photos of those Killed to 16 years – including Anna and Maria Pardini and the sisters of Enrico Pieri

To be a child, not to laugh, play was possible thereafter, remembers Mancini. “Our mothers cried: Here you can play, here is the buried is. There, you can’t play, there was a mass grave.” All were deeply saddened and struggled to Survive. Five years later, he came to a boarding school in Pisa: “That was the time the nightmares stopped.”

“Hate you more”

Initially, I hated them, reports Enio Mancini and Enrico Pieri. The massacre was kept quiet. Came to a trial against the offender, it is only in Italy, but only 60 years later, without consequences for the Convicted, who lived unmolested in Germany, and died. “Hate you more,” say the Survivors. You speak with the perpetrators, rather of Nazis and fascists than the Germans.

The Survivor Enrico Pieri reported again and again the young people of his experience

Your believe in Mancini and Pieri for her commitment to the work of remembrance and the education of young people, “in order to see what can happen”. Pieri went in the 1960s to Work in Switzerland: “But, Sant’Anna I will never leave.” As in 1970, his son, Massimo, was born, he decided “to send him to a German-speaking school”.

By mutual agreement, as he had hoped, “we can create a new Europe”. You’ve done a lot, but the new anti-European tendencies – in Italy – to make him Worry: “Today, we are at a point where we run the risk of losing this Europe.”