Cadotto

The aerial view shows a farmstead in a wooded area: the houses are made of light-coloured stone with red roofs.
Group of cottages in Cadotto. The Waffen-SS soldiers arrived on 29 September at dawn. © Udo Gümpel

29 September 1944 , Cadotto, gruppo di casolari nel Comune di Marzabotto (Bologna, Emilia Romagna)

A Cadotto si svolsero, all’alba del 29 settembre, scontri tra i partigiani della "Stella Rossa" e i soldati della 1a e 5a compagnia del reparto esplorante della "Reichsführer-SS". Sia i partigiani che le SS subirono pesanti perdite. Ma vi furono anche numerose vittime civili: come testimoniano alcuni soldati tedeschi, gli abitanti dei casolari - per lo più donne, bambini e anziani - non furono colpiti accidentalmente nella battaglia quanto prelevati, allineati e fucilati.

Involved Unit

1a compagnia e plotone armi d’accompagnamento della 5a compagnia del reparto esplorante

Commander

16. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Reichsführer-SS"

Victims

48

Armed forces
Waffen-SS
Front view of a farm in Cadotto: on the left a two-storey dwelling house, on the right the restored shell of a barn or storehouse.
The Cadotto cottages, site of the 29 September 1944 massacre. © Udo Gümpel

On the way we arrived at a farmhouse. Before the house, two old women lay shot to death. I immediately had the impression they were not victims of the fighting but people who had been shot and killed afterwards. They lay directly before the door and gave the impression they had been placed by the door against the wall and shot.

Rudi Vysek, 1947

 
 
In Cadotto, the soldiers and partisans fought intensely and for a long time. In the Wehrmacht’s final report, we read that in the raid, Commander ‘Lupo’ and fifteen of his officers were killed, recognizable by their epaulettes and insignia.
A two-storey dwelling house made of light-coloured stone with wooden shutters. There are two benches and a table in front of the house.
© Udo Gümpel

Literature

Luca Baldissara, Paolo Pezzino, Il massacro. Guerra ai civili a Monte Sole, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009, pp. 130-136, 141-149, 581.

Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg: Italien 1943-1945, Paderborn, Ferdinand Schöningh, 2012, pp. 242-257.

Dario Zanini, Marzabotto e dintorni, 1944, Bologna, Ponte nuovo, 1996, pp. 529-531.

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

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

2023

Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0

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