Italien / Denkmal
The War Memorial in Marzabotto was inaugurated in 1961 in the crypt of the Parish Church of Saints Joseph and Charles to bury, remember and commemorate the approximately 800 victims of the Nazi massacres in the Monte Sole area between 29 September and 5 October 1944.
The Monte Sole area - in the towns of Marzabotto, Grizzana Morandi and Monzuno - was the scene of the Nazi massacre with the highest number of civilian victims in Italy and Western Europe in the period 1943-1945. During the so-called 'Marzabotto Massacre', also referred to as the 'Monte Sole Massacre', between 29 September and 5 October 1944, German units mostly belonging to the 16th Grenadier Division Reichsführer-SS, supported by fascist elements of the Italian Social Republic, indiscriminately slaughtered almost 800 people, mostly women and children, in an anti-partisan land reclamation operation.
The town of Marzabotto was awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour by Luigi Einaudi, President of the Italian Republic, on 25 September 1949. In 1961, the War Memorial was inaugurated: the solemn ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of people, including Defence Minister Giulio Andreotti.
The war memorial was placed in the crypt of the St. Joseph and St. Charles parish church building. It contains the bodies of 778 civilian and partisan victims (mostly residents of Marzabotto, Monzuno and Grizzana Morandi) killed in the Monte Sole massacre and the remains of 404 soldiers who were killed in WWI and WWII. The remains are placed in niches along the side walls of the crypt, in individual tombs or in collective urns. Some have never been identified. Four plaques commemorate the Gold Medals awarded to Don Giovanni Fornasini, Francesco Calzolari, Mario Musolesi and Gastone Rossi. The memorial contains the works of artist Stella Angelini who, in the painting around the altar, in the gold foil triptych and in eight bronze compositions, portrayed situations and feelings related to the war, the massacre and the partisan fight.
The War Memorial belongs to the Ministry of Defence and is managed by the General Commissariat for the Honours to War Victims, which relies on a special annual agreement entered into with the Town of Marzabotto to ensure its day-to-day management.
Several plaques are placed outside the War Memorial in memory of the several international city-martyrs with whom Marzabotto had contact.