Allied Organizations International Publication US Friends of the Soviet People

Obituary for Enrico Pieri (1934-2021)


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Enrico Pieri, one of the last witnesses of the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, deceased (1934-2021)

The FIR takes leave of this committed Italian anti-fascist. Enrico Pieri was born on April 19, 1934, and survived the SS massacre in Sant’Anna di Stazzema as a ten-year-old. He died on December 10, 2021.
On August 12, 1944, 560 people were murdered in Sant’Anna di Stazzema, a small mountain village in Tuscany, by soldiers of the 16th Division of the Waffen SS. The processing of this crime was a scandal. In Germany, investigations were repeatedly delayed and even public confessions by the accused did not lead to indictments. In Italy, only the opening of the “closet of shame” led to the trial before the La Spezia military court in 2005. It ended with the sentencing of ten division members to life imprisonment for multiple murders. The sentences remained without practical significance because Germans were not extradited to Italy.

In order to bring the perpetrators to justice in Germany as well, Enrico Pieri, as president of the Association of Victims of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, waged a protracted struggle with the help of lawyers. The proceedings to force the prosecution in Germany lasted 12 years. When it was finally won in 2014 against the company commander responsible for the massacre, Gerhard Sommer from Hamburg, and the prosecution should have brought charges, the 93-year-old was demented and no longer fit to stand trial.

Enrico Pieri experienced hell and did not despair of it. Until his death he was committed against the barbarity of war and for a peaceful world. The numerous meetings with young people, especially during many years with the young participants of the peace camps in Sant’Anna di Stazzema, made him hopeful and cheerful. As a contemporary witness, he told them about his experiences and the anti-fascist commitments for today.
Our sympathy goes to his family, it goes to the survivors of the massacre of Sant’Anna di Stazzema and their relatives, it goes to the Italian antifascists and to the community of Stazzema.

Dr. Ulrich Schneider
Secretary General