Caprara

Along a narrow country road lie the ruins of some grey stone houses. The foundation walls have been worn down to about half a metre.
The remains of the old village of Caprara di Sopra. In the massacre of 29 September 1944, mainly women and children were killed. © Udo Gümpel

29 September 1944 , Caprara, nel Comune di Marzabotto (Bologna, Emilia Romagna)

Caprara era l’antico centro amministrativo del territorio, fino alla creazione del Comune di Marzabotto a valle. Nel 1944 ospitava la drogheria e l’osteria, oltre ad alcuni casolari di famiglie contadine. 
È difficile ricostruire i fatti del 29 settembre: probabilmente la strage fu commessa dalla stessa unità che operò a Casaglia. Donne, ragazzi e bambini vennero radunati in un’ampia stanza e qui uccisi con lancio di granate e colpi a distanza ravvicinata da parte di soldati della 3a compagnia del reparto esplorante di Reder. Altre persone vennero uccise nel bosco, probabilmente durante scontri con i partigiani.

Involved Unit

3a compagnia SS-Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 16 "Reichsführer-SS"

Commander

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

Victims

63

Armed forces
Waffen-SS
The aerial view of the ruins shows the ground plans of the individual houses.
The ruins of Caprara di Sopra. Thirteen families lived here at the time of the massacre. © Udo Gümpel
Only women and children remained in Caprara’s houses. They were driven into the kitchen of the tavern and locked up there. The soldiers began to throw hand grenades through the window and then to fire shots at the locked-in people at close range. Finally, the building was set on fire.
  • On one of the higher remaining walls in the ruins of Caprara is an abstract iron figure of Jesus on the cross. The cross is missing and the figure has no face.
    Memorial of the Caprara massacre. © Udo Gümpel
  • A close-up shows the upper body of the figure.
    Detail of the monument. © Udo Gümpel
  • A remnant of a wall in Caprara. The mountains rise in the background.
    The remains of the village of Caprara di Sopra. © Udo Gümpel

Literature

Luca Baldissara, Paolo, 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. 244f.

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

Seitenanfang