Siete qui The liberation of Massa 10th April, 1945

The liberation of Massa 10th April, 1945


Da admin- Scritto il 30 ottobre 2010

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.

Soldati americani  in Via PradoSoldati americani in Via PradoOn the 5th of April 1945 at the break of dawn, after an intense bombar- dment, the Allies began their final offensive against the western seg- ment of the “Gothic Line” at Montignoso in the Monte Carchio sector. The Japanese-American group, (the Nisei), were guided by the Partisans of the Patrioti Apuani who knew the mountain paths very well. It was a bloody battle: the Germans held their position on Monte Folgorito, with the loss of about a hundred men. During the 8th and 9th of April the battle, conducted together by the American 442nd Regiment and the Patrioti Apuani, reached Monte Belvedere forcing the Germans to retreat and liberated Antona, Forno, Altagna and Pariana during the 9th.

Massa was liberated during the morning of the 10th, but not without the Partisans together with the Allied soldiers paying another contribution of blood in this final battle. During this same day Arnaldo Pegollo was killed, in front of the Palazzo Ducale by German shell fire. So ended the city's tragic period of war, starvation, bombardment, German occupation and violence towards civilians. The city had been forcibly evacuated from the middle of September 1944, bombed from May 1944 to March 1945. There were many civilian massacres, Forno on the 13th of June 1944, Guadine on the 24th of August, in various districts of Massa on the 10th of September and the Fosse del Frigido on the 16th of September.

However it was not only a period of fear, pain and resignation. It de- monstrated the people's reaction, through the Partisans' fight against Fascism and the German occupation, with 5 gold and 1 silver medal for those killed in combat, and the civilian opposition to the harsh German orders, the courage of Massa's women in their search for food and the support for the Partisans' fight.

The Comune di Massa was awarded the Medaglia d'Oro al Merito Civile (the Gold Medal for Civil Merit) for its citizens' beha- viour,conferredonthe1stofFebruary2006.

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