Italie / Monument
On 26 September 1944, the Germans forced railwaymen Alfredo Ballotti and Dorindo Nicodemi to transport war material. They were released in the mountainous area and, on their way home the next morning, they were killed by an SS patrol at Spedaletto.
The summer of 1944 was the bloodiest season of the entire Nazi occupation. In the course of the retreat towards the Gothic Line in Tuscany, events characterised by ruthless cruelty were recorded: fires, destruction, raids and executions were carried out against civilians. The hilly territory of Pistoia province was involved in this massacre trail until early autumn, that is to say, shortly before the war front was stabilised on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
The killing of Dorindo Nicodemi, aged 52, and Alfredo Ballotti, aged 29, respectively uncle and nephew, residents of Castagno di Piteccio, falls within this context. Both railwaymen, they were captured by the Germans during a round-up and were forced to transport war material along the Porrettana road. They were released in Ponte alla Venturina, in the province of Bologna, and from there they took the path back along the Limentra stream. At 8 a.m. on 27 September 1944, they reached the village of Spedaletto where they were shot dead at close range by an SS patrol from the 36th regiment, for no apparent reason. Their bodies were temporarily buried there, almost on the riverbank, before being transported to Piteccio on 13 October 1944.
The SS unit responsible for the massacre remained in Spedaletto for a few more days before moving to Taviano. The legend that has spread in the area is that here they were caught up by the Allies and, barricaded in the cellar of a building, they were tracked down and partly killed by machine-gun fire and hand grenades.
On 26 September 1999, a memorial stone, consisting of a plaque resting on a stone topped with a small cross, was erected at the site of the killing of Nicodemi and Ballotti.
Strada Statale 64 Porrettana, 51100 Pistoia