What were the experiences of those involved?

Pietro Lazzari, a partisan

Lupo was convinced that the war was finishing, that the Nazis were disbanding and that now the final death blow had to be given. His opinion was very important because the  Stella Rossa brigade was organised in a very  hierarchical way. The belief that it was all over, was at the heart of the behaviour of the brigade at this time, just before the massacre.

 

Two or three days before (i.e the massacre), Lupo, the commander, told us: ‘partisans, we fight three days because tomorrow the Americans will be in Pian di Venola (Monte Sole area, Reno Valley) coming down from Castiglione’. We fought for three days. Then the frontline (of the Allied advance) stopped for six months. The Germans came up and destroyed everything. That day after we had fought for three days…. the Americans were 1 mile away. They were 1 mile away...

Pietro Lazzari, Stella Rossa partisan

Source: Testimony in 2006 at the trial in La Spezia, La Spezia Military Court