Italy / Monument
The Socciglia labour camp was established in Borgo a Mozzano at the end of 1943 to intern forced labourers in the service of the Todt organisation. They were used for the construction of defensive and fortification works along the Gothic Line: bunkers, anti-tank walls, trenches, communication routes.
The Serchio valley was affected by the construction of the Gothic Line. After 8 September 1943, the Germans settled in Borgo a Mozzano: they placed their headquarters in Villa Morante and established the administrative and technical headquarters of the Todt organisation in Palazzo Santini and Palazzo Giorgi. They built the Socciglia work camp near the hamlet of Anchiano, near the Bofocchia plain, to accommodate up to 400 people. It was fenced off with barbed wire to a height of four metres and was guarded daily by armed guards. This is where rounded up people from all over Lucca converged, assigned to work along the Gothic Line in the construction of fortified works, trenches, bunkers, casemates, anti-tank walls and communication routes. They slept in wooden huts on bunk beds; local priests often brought spiritual and material assistance (clothing and food) to the men imprisoned there. In addition to forced labourers, there were many Italians who volunteered for Todt's service: with this activity they avoided conscription or deportation.
The internees of the Socciglia labour camp were mainly employed for defence work in the Serchio river and in the construction of an imposing anti-tank wall (three metres high, about one and a half metres thick, and about 400 metres long) designed to control transit on the Brenner Road 12 and the Via Ludovica. The rampart crossed the Serchio at a point where the valley floor was very wide. Two concrete casemates equipped with anti-tank weapons were erected at both ends.
The Germans, after the liberation of Lucca on 5 September 1944, the advancement of the front and the breakthrough of the Gothic in Mugello, abandoned Borgo a Mozzano and established the frontline further north, not using the defensive fortifications previously built. The camp was liberated together with the territory of Borgo a Mozzano in September 1944. The men who did not manage to escape were deported to other towns.
A memorial stone in memory of the Socciglia labour camp was placed on 9 May 1999. Commemorations are held here every 27 January (Remembrance Day).
Strada vicinale di Socciglia, 55023