From Cathy Johnson.
Today is the anniversary of the one of the worst war crimes in Italy – the massacre at Sant Anna di Stazzema, a small mountain village in the Lucca province, Tuscany, during the Second World War.
On 12th August 1944 the SS killed 560 people in Sant Anna and the surrounding villages, most of whom were women, children and elderly. The youngest victim Anna Pardini was only 20 days old but eight pregnant women were also killed with their unborn babies.
As the novel I’m writing deals with a secret connecting Villa Leonida to a wartime reprisal massacre I visited St Anna as part of my research. The museum there tells the story of what happened on that day.
It’s not a feel-good experience and if you’re only spending a few days in Tuscany on holiday it probably won’t be top on your list of places to go for a…
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