San Giovanni di Sotto

A single farm stands on a country lane in a hilly landscape.
In San Giovanni di Sotto, 52 people lost their lives, shot in a farmyard in front of the stables. © Udo Gümpel

29 September 1944 , San Giovanni di Sotto, district in the Marzabotto commune (Bologna, Emilia Romagna)

While ascending Monte Caprara, soldiers of the 5th company of the reconnaissance-battalion rounded up the residents of Casoncello and Giovanni and gunned them down. In total 52 people were murdered.

Involved Unit

5th Company SS-Panzer Reconnaissance battalion 16 ‘Reichsführer-SS



Armed forces
The aerial view shows the red tiled roofs of the farm.
In San Giovanni di Sotto, the people taken earlier in Casoncello and San Giovanni di Sopra were also killed. © Udo Gümpel
  • The memorial plaque for the victims of the massacre hangs on a wall remnant surrounded by a low wooden fence.
    Monument in memory of the victims of 29 September 1944 in San Giovanni di Sotto. © Udo Gümpel
  • Detail of the stone memorial plaque.
    The plaque in memory of the victims, placed in San Giovanni di Sotto. © Udo Gümpel


Luca Baldissara, Paolo Pezzino, Il massacro. Guerra ai civili a Monte Sole, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009, pp. 136-141, 580.

Luciano Gherardi, Le querce di Monte Sole: vita e morte delle comunità martiri fra Setta e Reno, 1898-1944, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1986, pp. 117-130.

Dario Zanini, Marzabotto e dintorni, 1944, Bologna, Ponte nuovo, 1996, pp. 443-451.

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

© Project ‘The Massacres in Occupied Italy (1943-1945): Integrating the Perpetrators’ Memories’


Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0