This is an extract from an American report that was the first one to show that something very serious had happened in the Monte Sole area. This was the report of the interrogation of a German deserter.
The report was very precise and listed the names of responsible soldiers.
As soon as this report was available it was transmitted by the headquarters of the US 5th army to the US War Crimes Commission (WCC), which had been created in August 1944.
In the meantime other reports were also emerging as a result of the interrogation of other German witnesses. On 10th November the United States War Crimes Commission was officially charged with the investigation of war crimes in the area of San Martino-Monzuno. After 4 meetings where it listened to many testimonies (from German soldiers, Italian survivors and partisans), the US WWC concluded its work on 10th December 1944 with a detailed report of its findings. This was immediately sent to Washington with the recommendation that the case should be handed over to an International Military Tribunal.
In December 1946 the US files on the massacre were closed because the case had been handed over to the Italian authorities.
Reprisals against civilians for partisan activities.
On the 29th September 1944, the whole Scout Battallion of the 16th SS Division, was involved in “a reprisal action against italian civilians because of partisan activities”. The action took place in San Martino – La Quercia area, south of Bologna. In this massacre about 800 women and children were killed. (These facts are confirmed by three prisoners of war from the 2nd and 5th companies of the Scout Battallion of the 16th SS Division. Main witness: Willi Kneissl, 2nd company.
Source: The Report of Interrogation by the Information Office of the Headquarters of the US 1st armoured division, 23th october 1944. Reder Trial II, Military court, La Spezia.