The database aims at listing every episode of intentional killing of defenceless innocents perpetrated between 1943 and 1945 by Nazi and fascists units all over the country, defined according the current borders – including the areas of the Operationszone Alpenvorland (operational area of the Prealps directly controlled by the German authorities and including the provinces of Belluno, Trento and Bolzano) and of the Operationszone Adriatische Küstenland (operational area of the Adriatic coast directly controlled by the German authorities including the provinces of Udine, Gorizia and Trieste and the former Italian provinces of Pola, Fiume, Lubiana) – apart from a specific section on the Istrian territory which was ncluded in the Adriatische Küstenland.
One of the most demanding challenges was to reconstruct the complex reality of every area and every episode with all their specific features and peculiarities but at the same time trying to squeeze this complexity into some fixed and uniform categories in order to make data comparable. As a consequence some categories were defined in relation to strategies and their outcome – both in judiciary and memorial terms – in order to build a national homogenous research engine allowing data collection, management and comparison.
For every episode five main aspects were considered:
- The event
- The victims
- The perpetrators
- The memory
- The tools
- The event. Description and interpretation of the episode. This section includes: a field where it is possible to write freely a description of the episode and its context. Then there are three fields with multiple choices that can be used to define the mode, the type and other additional forms of violence relating to the episode. Here follows the list of definitions offered by every field.
DROWNING, FIREARM, VOLUNTARY GUNFIRE, SHOOTING, HANGING, FIRE, UNDEFINED, MINING, STEEL WEAPON, TORTURE
TYPE OF ASSAULT
DESERTIFICATION (OR BURNT LAND) – ELIMINATIONIST– UNDEFINED – PUNITIVE – SYSTEMATIC – ROUNDUP – WITHDRAWAL – GENDER VIOLENCE – VIOLENCE FOR TERRITORIAL CONTROL – OCCUPATION AND ARMISTICE RELATED VIOLENCE – RACIAL VIOLENCE
ADDITIONAL FORMS OF VIOLENCE
DEPORTATIONS – THEFTS/ROBBERIES/LOOTING – FIRES – MINING/EXPLOSIONS – RAPES – TORTURE
Thanks to this approach it was possible to classify the episodes according to uniform categories so that users can apply filters to their searches through specific categories (For instance all the systematic assaults in Campania region or all the shootings in Apulia region).
- The victims. Also in this case there is a field where it is possible to enter freely the biographical data of every single victim, which can vary according to the amount of data collected; then there are some fixed scroll-down menus for the type, gender and age of the victim according to some criteria allowing statistical analysis and targeted inquiries (for instance how many women were killed in Italy, how many children in the Marches)
M / F
LITTLE GIRL/BOY (0-12) – GIRL/BOY (13-17) – FEMALE/MALE ADULT (18-55) – OLD WOMAN/OLD MAN (over 55)
CIVILIAN – RELIGIOUS – JEW – ANTIFASCIST – CONNECTED TO THE PARTISANS
PARTISAN – SOLDIER – DRAFT DODGER – DESERTER – DRIFTER – CARABINIERE (Italian local policeman)
The defenceless victims were then sub-divided into two groups: those who had nothing to do with the war (or at least this is what they thought) and those who had some experience in the use of weapons. The first group includes: civilians, in other words people who were killed without a clear motivation relating to their belonging to a specific group; the Jews and the priests, victims identified thanks to their religious beliefs; the anti-fascists and the relatives or collaborators of partisans who, even if they did not actively joined the armed fights, took a clear stance in favour of the Resistance movement. The last two categories link up with the second sub-group, which had to do with a present or past experience with weapons: draft dodgers, deserters, drifters, war prisoners, soldiers and partisans.
Even the victims of this second group, even if identified as potential armed enemies, were killed in defenceless conditions because unarmed or disarmed.
- The perpetrators It was preliminary indicated if the perpetrators were Nazi, fascists or both acting together. When possible additional information likely to identify the relevant armed unit was indicated or, alternatively, the presumed armed units were indicated being the only ones, which were present when the events occurred. For the Nazi armed forces the unit names were left in German. When the identity of the guilty – both presumed and verified – regardless of them being executors, collaborators or informers personal data, nationality and the record of service were indicated specifying the data source. Finally the database includes information on sentences and possible lawsuits filed in Italy since the after-war period until today.
- The memory This section includes memorial objects – monuments, plaques, stones, memorial sites, museums, commemoration and decorations briefly described and with the date and place. Sometimes an indication about the kind of memory is given: weak, shared, controversial, present, partial, absent, etc.
- The tools. This section contains the primary and secondary sources and possible other tools, including web sites, audio-visual materials, databases, which were used to draw up the episode records. The research scope was so large that it was necessary diversify the sources used in the different considered fields of research. Any possible lack of homogeneity was limited and partially corrected through the use of some common sources previously given to the research pool members: the documents of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, the documents of the Joint Italian-German Historical Commission, a database on German roundups in Italy curated by Prof. Carlo Gentile. This homogenous set of sources combined with specific territorial documents led us to harmonized and reliable research results on the episodes.
Every episode included in the database is matched with a specific recapping data sheet written by researchers and downloadable in pdf format.
For episode quotations the model to be followed is the following:
Paolo Pezzino, Sant’Anna di Stazzema, Lucca, 12.08.1944, [http://www.straginazifasciste.it/?page_id=38&id_strage=4908], visited on February 4, 2016
Every quotation of the database must be written as follows:
Atlante delle stragi naziste e fasciste in Italia, ANPI-INSMLI, (http://www.straginazifasciste.it/?page_id=316), visited on February 4, 2016
Le schede monografiche, scaricabili in formato .pdf, sono coperte da diritto d’autore. Ogni uso improprio o non consentito è punibile ai sensi di legge.
Per segnalazioni o richieste di correzione e integrazione in merito agli episodi inseriti all’interno della banca dati, si prega di contattare la segreteria di redazione al seguente indirizzo: firstname.lastname@example.org