Siete quiPiero Calamandrei
After the Armistice of 8th September 1943 armed and civil resistance developed in this war torn land as a result of the harsh German occupation and increasingly difficult living conditions. This resistance won the Province of Massa-Carrara the Medaglia d’Oro al Valor Militare (the Gold Medal for Military Valour) and the Medaglia d’Oro al Merito Civile (the Gold Medal for Civilian Merit) for the Comune di Massa (Massa’s Town Council). In memory of this the Council and the European Community have reawakened these memories.
In Marina di Massa in Poveromo, Piero Calamandrei, an illustrious jurist, built a small villa just before the war, in the pines, from which you could see the sea and the Apuan Alps: here he loved to retire to work and receive a few faithful friends,antifascists like himself “A serene refuge but never fully happy – noted Alessandro Galante Garrone in a memory of the maestro – because a shadow of melancholy always accompanied these briefstays. Even when he had built the house in Poveromo,he had a premonition (as he confided to his friends) that it would be occupied by the Germans, and the war would almost destroyit”, He took refuge in Poveromo after he had abandoned teaching at the university of Firenze (Florence) following the denunciation of a lawyer colleague for his antifascist tendencies. The 25th of July 1943 Calamandrei learned from the English radio of the fall of Mussolini. He was at Poveromo on the 8th of September,the date of the Armistice. Ont he 12th of September “they were given two hours”, he remembered, by the Germans to leave the villa. Afterwards a warrant for his capture meant that he had to abandon the zone and Tuscany.
On the 21st of October 1954, while inaugurating the commemorative stone for the massacre on the banks of Frigido, he remembered how from those “desperate days” the resistance was born, and illustrated the characters of those Apuan people: “here the heroism and sacrifices weren't just by armed partisans, but of all of the civilian population, reinserted in the line of battle as if in an immense concentration camp, between the mines and the cannons, in the desolate no man'sland. For this reason the Apuan province,the only province in Italy, has been given the Medaglia d'Oro (the Gold Medal): for all the Apuan province, all the partisans,who were able to defend and reconquer by their strength in those nineteen months, their liberty and their bread day by day”.
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