What were the consequences?

What happened to the survivors?

Lucia Sabbioni, who was 15-years old in 1944, survived the massacre in Casaglia cemetery together with Cornelia Paselli and a few others. She had several injuries and she was taken to Bologna once it was safe to do so. This is her account of what happened to her after she got to Bologna.


(…) It was almost dark when we got near Bologna (Casalecchio).The doctor took me to a bar. He made me sit down and phone the UMPA (the National Union of Anti-aircraft Protection), units of civilian volunteers who took care of people during the bombings. Soon after he delivered me to them, he wished me good luck, and left: “You are in good hands now, goodbye!” From here I started visiting all the hospitals in the city. Nobody wanted to admit me [as a patient], because the fascists had issued an order to seek out the rebels. Finally I went to Maggiore hospital, where I was welcomed by Professor Zaffagnini and then I was taken to a school which was being used as a hospital. Two days after that there was a major [Allied] bombing attack and we patients were taken down to the basement. I got another injury because a wing of the building was hit by the bombs. But it was not serious. Then, together with the others, they took me to another building, a former boarding school. In this building they began to treat me. They removed pieces of shrapnel from my knees and arms; then they dealt with the hole I had in my thigh. I had a bullet and a piece of cloth in it. I recognized it; it was a piece of Cleofe's apron, the woman who fell on me during the massacre. I was there some months. The wounds didn't heal and repeatly got re-infected. I walked with a limp. In the first days of hospitalisation they cleaned me up. They threw away my blood-soaked skirt and they washed my hair but they were not able to clean my head properly. There were still fragments of bone, flesh and nerves. And then one morning they shaved my head. I accepted everything that was done without question. I was so melancholic and apathetic. During the night I used to dream that the Germans were chasing me. In the nightmare I started to run while they were shooting at me and hitting me in the legs. And I fell heavily to the ground. I used to wake up screaming. The poor women in the beds next to mine were unable to sleep. They complained and asked that I be put somewhere on my own. So it was done. (…)

 Source: Lucia Sabbioni, Marzabotto, Diary of the forgiveness and the anger, Lupo Edizioni, Bologna, 2006


Cip from interview with CORNELIA PASELLI’ (41.02 a 53,22)




Cornelia Paselli tells about what happened to her, her sister and other survivors, right after the massacre.


Source: Video testimony from Cornelia Paselli, Bologna, 6th december, 2005. Oral History Archive of the Peace School Foundation of Monte Sole