What were the experiences of those involved?

Experiences: evidence of Fascist involvement in the massacre

After the massacre at Monte Sole the Fascist Italian party of Bologna denied that it had taken place. In a newspaper article they said that it had only been a police operation against rebels and that only some of the rebel leaders were killed. Historians are not sure whether or not Italian local fascists were actively engaged in the operation alongside the Germans. What is sure is that they knew about it but released a public denial of what happened. On 30th September the entire Laffi family, was murdered together with the Zebris, the Amicis and the Marchis. The total number of dead was 49: all children, women and the elderly.


Foresti, a 36 year-old lathe turner was working in Bologna in a factory making torpedos for the German Navy. His wardrobe was being looked after by his relatives, the Laffis in Colulla di Sotto. He  got permission from his boss to go there on 30th  September to fetch his wife's raincoat. When he got to Marzabotto, he stopped at a butcher’s shop to buy some meat and the butcher warned him not to go to Colulla. He went as far as the bridge at Sperticano when German soldiers stopped him. He was taken to their headquarters where officers told him they could not authorize him to go to Colulla. He went back to Marzabotto where he saw, arriving from Bologna,“a sidecar in which I recognized the head of the Fascist party of Marzabotto, Lorenzo Mingardi”. Foresti approached him and explained the situation. Mingardi tried to convince him to go there on the following day because today was “a bad day” and it would have been better for him to get out of  the area as soon as possible.(..) He still wanted to go and he was able to convince the Germans in Sperticano to let him through. He reached the Laffis and soon after a child came to the house to say that some German soldiers were approaching from the woods above (..). The men ran away.


Source: Luca Baldissara, Paolo Pezzino, Il massacro. Guerra ai civili a Monte Sole, Bologna, 2009