The History

At the same time of the attack to Civitella, another group of German soldiers departed from Monte San Savino along the mountain path that goes to the small village of Cornia, passing the farms il Burrone and Solaia. The parson, Don Natale Romanelli, had just left for Verniana after celebrating Mass at seven. After a mile or so, he met a friend who told him to go back and warn the people that they had to flee. The mother and sister of the priest refused to listen to him, claiming that the Germans would not have touched the women, but in Cornia they did not spare anyone. At nine o’clock, while the men were hiding in the woods of Valibona, the Germans arrived. Some people of the hamlet witnessed the terrible scenes that occurred. The soldiers closed five women in a house, shot them and then set the fire. A woman was hit by a grenade along with a pig. The priest’s sister, who suffered from polio, was killed in the garden of her house, which was left a heap of ruins. Only the church remained intact, but was later bombed by Allied cannons.

On July 3rd other German troops belonging to Fallschirmjäger-Division retreating from the Albert Line arrived in the area and settled in the church of Cornia, where they destroyed everything. Don Natale said that these soldiers had been worse than their fellow soldiers who had entered Civitella two days before. The latter used the village as the main defensive position for more than a fortnight, creating housing outside the walls, sleeping in the cellars of the houses that were still standing, putting mattresses on the floor in the church, not without having desecrated it, using vestments as toilet paper and shooting the holy images. The artillery of the 4th British Division, which at that time was already nearby, bombarded the village with the intention of driving these Germans out, with the result of bringing down other houses. The castle tower was damaged, and the whole church was in ruins, with the bell tower razed.

The Victims

Lavelli Ugo, 58 years old
Marinelli Giovanna, ? years old
Mugnai Giuseppe, 68 years old
Mugnai Olga, 43 years old

Orsolini Rina, 19 years old
Pontenani Rosa, 53 years old
Romanelli Emma, 32 years old
Rossi Nello, 36 years old

Rossi Silvio, 43 years old
Tavanti Emilia, 64 years old
Zippi Pia, 42 anni (raped and murdered)

Monuments and memorial stones

The scene of the massacre