What were the experiences of those involved?

Wilfried Segebrecht, Commander of 1st Company (Reconnaissance Unit) 16th SS Panzergrenadiers

This is an extract from a statement made by  Willfried Segebrecht, commander of First Company Reconnaissance Unit which passed though Cadotto on the morning of 29th  September, 1944. It was also included in the publication by the veterans of 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division.   

 

The same version of these events was also given in the military tribunal trials of General Max Simon, Major Reder and other German officers.

 

The killing of Lupo so early in the morning of the first day of operations had negative repercussions. Once deprived of its commander Stella Rossa quickly disbanded and was unable to protect the local  population from the assault by SS forces which followed.

 

Around midday there was  only one partisan on our right side and he was trying to run away. A dispatch rider, Woelfele, chased him and engaged him in a machine-gun duel. Each took shelter, fired, jumped and ran. At the end the partisan fell to the ground. My soldier took the badges and documents and took them to headquarters. The Italian prisoners confirmed unanimously that this partisan was Mario Lupo, commander of the brigade. The partisan commander not only abandoned his people but he also had a large amount of money with him. While his people fought to the last, he wanted to escape. For us, we could not understand why, after his death, he was decorated with the highest Italian honour.

Source: TruppenkameradenSchaft, Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt. Dokumentation der 16.SS Panzergrenadier Division “Reichsfuehrer SS”, Munich, Schild, 1998