On Sunday, 4 October 1959, the square in Marzabotto is filled with people: this has been the case every year, for fifteen years, on the Sunday that falls between 29 September and 5 October. In that week, in 1944, soldiers of the 16. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division 'Reichsführer SS' had killed hundreds and hundreds of civilians in the Monte Sole territory, belonging to the municipalities of Marzabotto, Vado-Monzuno and Grizzana Morandi. The exact number of victims was not clear at the time: in the first commemoration it was calculated that 1830 people were missing from the census of the three localities, but not all of them had been overwhelmed by that particular annihilation operation. Over the years, the number of victims has been ascertained: in those days, the SS killed 770 people, mostly women, the elderly and children.
Every year, to this day, personalities from the state and civil society are called to Marzabotto on that Sunday to commemorate the massacres, to stand by the stricken community, to issue warnings to the present. In 1959, Senator Ferruccio Parri, a former partisan with the Partito d'Azione, member of the National Liberation Committee and then of the Constituent Assembly, a leading figure in post-war politics and then a senator from the ranks of the PSI but as an independent. Filming is another former Giustizia e Libertà partisan, Francesco Berti Arnoaldi Veli, who follows with his camera Parri's vibrant speech, the parade of gonfalons, the faces of the victims' relatives, decorated with medals for valour that in small - or no - measure compensate for the loss of children, wives, grandchildren, sometimes entire families.
The shrine collecting their remains is almost finished, it will be inaugurated two years later.
Meanwhile, a few days earlier and not far away, three children sent to gather herbs in the countryside were blown up after touching an unexploded war device. The war is still there, in the fields.