Sant’Anna Di Stazzema Massacre, August 12th 1944

Posted: August 12, 2010 in World War 2

“It was here that Italy suffered its second worst massacre of the war…”

On the morning of August 12th 1944, the 2nd Battallion of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 35 of 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division Reichsführer-SS commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Anton Galler, surrounded the small , Tuscan village of Sant’Anna, located in the Apuan Alps. Under strict instructions (& in retaliation to Italian Partisan activities), SS troops raided houses, slaughtered the town’s live-stock & rounded up approximately 560 men, women & children. Of these 560, many were locked in barns where they were mercilessly gunned down, others were herded into basement compartments & killed with hand grenades. Additionally, some 140 civilians were gathered in the town square & despite the pleas of the parish priest, Father Innocenzo Lazzeri, they were executed by volleys of machine gun fire. The SS troops then collected several church pews, placed them around the corpses & set them ablaze. Those who had evaded capture returned later to find Sant’Anna in ruins & to learn that their loved ones had perished. This heartbreaking massacre lasted between 3-4 hours. It was here that Italy suffered its second worst massacre of the war at the hands of the Nazi Germany.

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