17.09.2014 14:25
§   Shooting of the "Barberin"  by Nazis   §          

During the Second World War, the Northern Italian theatre saw the Nazi-Fascist army adopt a retreating strategy to delay the advance of the Anglo-American formations, however, since September 8, 1943 partisan brigades played a significant role.

In fact, the Italian partisans intended to weaken the defensive structure put in place by the Germans by communicating to the Allies enemy positions, but also conducted proper military operations. During the summer and early autumn of 1944, following the Allied commander in Italy, British General Harold Alexander’s appeal in a radio broadcast, for Italians to kill Germans «wherever you encounter them», the attacks of the partisans intensified.

In response to Alexander, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, commander of the German Army in Italy, issued a decree «against the armed bands of rebels». By virtue of this notice, in every part of Italy the Nazi-Fascists put in place dire reprisals against civilians, justifying the destruction of houses and killing of hostages. 

There were no active partisan military formations in Monghidoro, nevertheless some anti-fascists collaborated with the partisan Resistance by providing news on the activities of the Germans or performing acts of sabotage. On August 2, 1944, a German coach was detonated in Piamaggio, near Monghidoro, killing two soldiers. The next day, again in Piamaggio, the German army telephone wires were cut.

A few days later, August 8, on the information given by a local fascist, a professional barber, Domenico Enrico Calzolari, known as ei Barberîn, was arrested in Monghidoro. It was later learned that he was part of the 62nd Brigade Garibaldi Red Shirts. In his shop, the barber received and sent messages that le staffette (the runners), boys and women beyond suspicion, took to the commanders of partisan brigades. 

Following the arrest, Calzolari was taken to Ca’ di Giorgio, a big hotel where the Germans had their headquarters. On August 11, 1944, after enduring days of torture, the barber, together with three partisans from Monzuno, the brothers Gino, Giovanni and Pietro Musolesi walked through an eerily silent town and shot in the old cattle market of Monghidoro. 


§   The massacre of Roncastaldo   §          

In the area of Monghidoro, from June until October 2, 1944, the German army of occupation, sometimes joined by local fascists, committed a veritable massacre of civilians, many of whom were not involved with the activities of the partisans. Pursuant to the notice issued by Field Marshal Kesselring, the Germans of any grade were free to implement, with the benefit of impunity, any retaliatory action in areas where they thought there were active partisans. 

On June 27, in the village of Campeggio, four people were shot. On August 11, in Monghidoro, other four people were shot. On September 19, at La Rovina, a man was shot; another was gunned down on September 27. On September 29, at Ca’ di Giorgio, the headquarters of German command, four people were killed, including a thirteen year old child. On October 2, at Ca’ di Lavacchio, three peasants were killed.

Upon the arrival of the US troops, many civilians were found dead in their homes, killed by the Germans because they refused to work on the fortifications. In the days before the German retreat from these areas, other villagers were reported missing while many monghidoresi were killed in massacres in neighboring towns. 

The most significant episode occurred on October 1, during the last hours of the German occupation of Monghidoro. At the village of Piamaggioli, where many civilians had fled to escape the fighting between the Germans and the advancing Americans, a German platoon carried out a search to look for “bandits”, of which a fascist collaborator had reported its presence. Seven men of different ages, between 19 and 40, were picked up and taken to a camp at Roncastaldo, near Monghidoro, where they were horribly massacred during the night of October 2. 

Following the liberation, all of the “martyrs of Roncastaldo” were recognized partisans.