What were the experiences of those involved?

The views of a local priest

After his second message to Lupo Father Tommasini, got a second reply: “Tell the parish of Burzanella that we have orders and we have to respect them”. On 27th or 28th of September, Tommasini told his parishioners to abandon the village, that was now almost on the frontline, and to move to Monteacuto Ragazza, a quieter area.

Of the five people that remained in Burzanella only one survived. The parish tells that he knew what was happening because the secretary of a fascist leader of Vergato told him. On the afternoon of the 28th a third message was sent to Lupo: “it was a passionate plea to evacuate the people from Monte Sole, and to prepare to fight since they didn't want to move, because otherwise they would have been destroyed.

This last notice is also confirmed by the testimony of a partisan, Guerrino Avoni, who, in the Bologna trial (1948-51) said: “Commander Lupo was warned on the afternoon of the 28th by a written message from a priest [which] told him about the imminent arrival of the Nazi troops, who would have carried out a combing-out operation.”

 

Rumours of a big operation kept circulating and then, even the partisans were convinced that something was happening, On 19th September I sent Raffaele Forni to warn Mario Musolesi, (“Lupo”), chief of the Stella Rossa brigade, and said that they took steps as soon as possible. He let me know that he wasn’t worried because they were invincible. (..) On the 21st September I also warned Ubaldo Marchioni, in the parish of San Martino, advising him to move the population to Sasso Marconi .But again I was given a disarming answer: “I stay with my people”. Father Ubaldo, had been recently appointed to the parish and had recently moved to San Martino di Caprara to help the old priest. He knew very little about the area and he was enthusiastic at starting his pastoral mission. He was also very satisfied to see the churches full of the faithful and with the armed partisans in the front rows (..). I had not been at all happy with Musolesi's answer and on the 23rd of September I again sent Forni to advise him to move his partisans elsewhere because the troop movements were intensifying. (..)

Father Luigi Tommasini, parish of Burzanella (village in the Monte Sole area) and supporter of the partisans, tells about his exchange of messages with Lupo, before the massacre.

Source:Luigi Tommasini, La bufera. Parroco nella resistenza The storm. A parish in the resistance, Bologna, Stampa Lito. 1989