Stazzema silent scream

Stazzema silent screamHi everybody and welcome back to Tuscany, the region hiding so many treasures that, once again, will lead you discovering another of its little secrets.

We would like to dedicate this newsletter to memory, to what should and can not be removed, so that those who can not tell what happened with their own words, can express themselves not only through these few words, but also through art and culture which have always offered their instruments to history.

In Italy we celebrate April 25th as the the Liberation Day, since it commemorates the liberation from the fascist occupation, dating back to the end of the Second World War, and in particular to April 25 th 1945, when the partisans defeated the last nazi-fascist troops in Milan. Some words about this very important event for the history of our Country are really worthy to be said, but in particular we would like to point out all those people who can not celebrate every year what they made happen.

The writer James McBride wrote many words composing his novel to commemorate one of the most tragic event in human history,  whose witness and guardian is a little village in Tuscany, Sant’Anna di Stazzema. Situated just over the Versilia area, Sant’Anna is a little village near  Stazzema in the province of Lucca, which overlooks the sea from its 600 metres above sea level; closed off in the memory that the rock faces of the surrounding Alpi Apuane could never forget, it carries the unfading marks of what human being did under the power of a “conscious-insanity”.
It seemed to be a safety, with the foliage wood protecting whoever tried to run away from the war deadly rage and from some German soldiers running amuck.

The dawn of April 12th 1944 announced an horrible day instead: around 400 soldiers belonging to the German Waffen broke in the little village bringing death and destruction in people wake, with no discrimination. 560 is the number of victims of the village of Sant’Anna only, mainly being elderly, children and women, a foolish massacre further testified by the following link, reporting an incomplete list of that fatidical day victims:
The supposed aim? Frightening and consequently dissuading the little village inhabitants from protecting the partisans who were fighting on the Resistance front. The obtained result? A destroyed village, hundreds of broken lives and an even stronger Resistance that, less than one year later, will rescue the country.
If you have not yet seen anything like that, we strongly suggest you have a look at the following links to learn more about what unfortunately we have just wrote too much briefly:,,,1296389,00.html?mpb=en

James McBride wanted four American dark-skinned soldiers to become immortal in his novel; they were part of the support Buffalo division fighting the nazi-fascists in Italy in that period. “Miracle at Sant’Anna” is the title of this novel, which was supposed to give voice to all those people who the slaughter made voiceless. But this event has not been commemorated by literature only: the well known movie director Spike Lee shot a film on this historical fact, being inspired by McBride’s novel.
The homonym film is supposed to do justice to those brutalities and to the courage of those dark-skinned soldiers as well, being the main actors of the story:  there is too rare memory of them as those who kept fighting for freedom and democracy with the same passion as Americans and Europeans.
Sant’Anna di Stazzema thus become a movie set: the movie was filmed between last October and November partially in Rome, Cinecittà, and partially in Sant’Anna di Stazzema…maybe, as it often happens, some dark mystery revealed to the cameras to let the world know the truth on this matter, even if the words of those who survived to the massacre do not give room for imagination.
Maybe, thanks to the “imperceptible whispering of a saw waiting for justice”, some documents on Sant’Anna slaughter, which had been hidden till that moment, appeared out of nowhere just when the inquest seemed to be filed away; as a consequence, the trial re-opened and the surviving German officers involved in the massacre were charged with life sentence.

That said, we won’t add any word, but leave you to your own thoughts silence…and maybe, you, too, will hear a soft and pleasant presence coming from nowhere and whispering “do not forget”.

See you in May

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