Italien / Denkmal
The Monument in memory of the victims of the Padule di Fucecchio massacre was built after the war, in Cintolese. It commemorates the Monsummano victims of the massacre carried out by the Nazis, in collaboration with the fascists, on 23 August 1944. The massacre caused the death of 174 people, among them women, elderly persons, and children.
The Padule di Fucecchio massacre was carried out on 23 August 1944, by units of the 26th Armoured Division of the German army, under the orders of General Peter Eduard Crasemann. 174 civilians were murdered, including children, women, and elderly persons, in an area between the towns of Monsummano Terme, Larciano, Ponte Buggianese, Cerreto Guidi and Fucecchio. The operation of desertification of the territory, carried out by the Germans in collaboration with some fascists, aimed to eliminate any human presence that could help the partisans and hinder their retreat towards the Gothic Line. This ended definitively a few days later. Fucecchio was liberated on 1 September, Larciano on the 3rd, Monsummano Terme on the 4th).
The massacre was characterised by the use of heavy artillery and methods of warfare used exclusively against civilians, mostly local farming families, or displaced people in the Padule escaping the daily German roundups and Allied gunfire. It was one of the five massacres with the highest number of deaths carried out by the Nazis in Italy during the war. The town of Monsummano was among the hardest hit, with 84 residents killed. Among them was Maria Faustina Arinci (called Carmela, aged 92) and Maria Malucchi, aged 4 months.
During the immediate post-war period, Father Renato Quiriconi, the parish priest of Cintolese, together with the local population and the town administration, agreed to build a monument in memory of the Monsummanese massacre victims. The monument is made of white marble with a red travertine flame, and the names of the victims, from Arinci to Zerbini, are listed on the left and right side. A winged figure representing freedom stands at the top of the monument, at the foot of which stands the flame representing faith. A woman with two small children clutched to her chest is arranged above the base. Below her is a dead boy with a snake circling him as a symbol of the violence that the Germans perpetrated. The Angel of Death, consisting of a skeleton body and a halo, embracing a woman, is placed underneath.
Every year, on 23 August, the town administration, survivors and relatives of the victims commemorate the dead and lay a laurel wreath at the monument.
Monsummano, località Cintolese, Piazza dei Martiri, 51015