Remember to prevent it from happening again. “The outbursts of intolerance, racial hatred, fanaticism that manifest themselves in our societies and in the world, sometimes through modern tools and unprecedented methods, cannot be ignored.He warns Sergio Mattarella. The head of state (who had visited there in February for the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the gold medal for military valor to the municipality) recalls the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema – “the most inhuman outrage”, he defines – performed by the Nazis on 12 August 1944 that caused in this locality of Versilia 560 civilian victims, including the elderly, women and 130 children. An immense horror that remains imprinted in the memory 76 years after what was “one of the most heinous massacres committed in our country during the Nazi occupation”.
Mattarella speaks of it as a “frightening event, for the cruelty with which the SS men attacked lifeless bodies, for the destruction of the stake in the square of Sant’Anna”. And he remarks that “on the basis of those values of humanity that the Nazis and their Fascists collaborators wanted to annihilate, Liberation was conquered and democracy was built. For this reason, Sant’Anna di Stazzema has become “at the same time a shrine and a symbol of our civil life, of the inviolable rights of the person, of the sense of justice that no society must renounce and that the Republican Constitution indicates to us as a collective commitment constant”.
On the day “of recollection and memory” Mattarella recalls that “massacre of hundreds and hundreds of defenseless civilians, especially women, children, the elderly, refugees” to signal the still current risk of forgetfulness, increased by the Far West that often characterizes the debate on social media, within the framework of legislation that is unable to deal with the most overwhelming aspects. The mayor of Stazzema Maurizio Verona promotes a bill of popular initiative “against fascist propaganda”, launched just yesterday on the anniversary of the horrific massacre, to cope – explains the mayor – with a climate in which ” the message that fascism has also done good things ».
Therefore the guard cannot be let down. «The will to power can go so far as to produce an ideology of annihilation of those who are different, strangers, seen as potentially enemies. It should not be forgotten – insists Mattarella – that those who underestimate violence in the end become accomplices ». And “the memory of the most tragic and painful events of our history constitutes an incessant reminder for consciences”.
The President of the Republic then addresses a thought with “particular gratitude” to those who keep a dramatic memory of that event, at the cost of “unspeakable suffering”. Today he becomes «spokesman for solidarity, freedom, peace, equality among men. A strong, indissoluble feeling of solidarity – concludes Mattarella – unites us to the survivors, to the families of those killed without mercy, to the citizens of Stazzema who have rebuilt the community, enduring the pain and preserving the memory ».
The second and third state offices also join in the memory of the tragic massacre. Passing on the memory to the new generations, says the President of the Senate Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, “is a duty that no one must shirk, in respect of those who have suffered and in defense of the values of freedom, peace and democracy that we have won by repudiating war and violence”. While the Speaker of the Chamber Roberto Fico appeals to all institutions not to fall “oblivion on a drama like that” of Stazzema, “because a country that does not commit itself fully to removing every gray area of its own life would end up by to deny a crucial part of one’s historical and moral identity and to frustrate the full sense of democracy ”.