The historical research was carried out by Luca Grisolini, who investigated the better known, more dramatic events as well as those wrongly considered “minor”, in order to contextualise and interpret single episodes within the highly complex dynamics of those days. The numbers and names of the victims and their ages are listed. Thanks to meticulous research and archival analysis, it was possible to identify the military corps responsible for the killings.
While the historical notes contextualise events by drawing on the most accredited sources, the interviews give the personal viewpoint of the witnesses. However, we believe that linking and combining these individual viewpoints can help reconstruct a collective historical memory that finds confirmation in the more salient and decisive events.
Quite often these testimonies are jumbled. A person’s memory may falter or their account lack accuracy when the dramatic events being recalled took place in the distant past. Sometimes the Tuscan language takes on the obsolete or archaic forms of a Casentino dialect of earlier days. For this reason, all the videos have been subtitled in Italian, as well as in English and German. The interviews were carried out from the 1980s until 2016 and do not cover the whole geographical area or timespan of these war events. Nevertheless, they have enabled us to unearth and reconstruct specific, forgotten episodes and make them known, despite the scarcity of sources and texts.
The memory of events also leaves its mark on the physical features of the places where they occurred. These come to symbolize those tragedies at a time when all the witnesses have departed. For this reason, we have devoted a section to monuments, memorial stones, and other material traces of the atrocious killings. This was made possible thanks to the generous assistance of the Fondazione dell’Associazione Nazionale fra Mutilati ed Invalidi di Guerra, which runs the Pietre dell Memoria project, and of Alessandro Bargellini, who supplied us with the texts and many of the photographs published here.