Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Tuscany at Haunting WWII Monument to Families Massacred by Nazi's: "We Rededicate Ourselves to Protect the Innocents of the World"
Teresa Neumann : Apr 10, 2017
You've got to check out this backstory to understand how deeply important Tillerson's message was meant to be.
(Sant'anna di Stazzema, Italy) — A stark WWII monument dominating the top a wind-swept hill in Italy's beautiful Tuscan countryside was the scene today of dignitaries from around the world gathered in preparation of the upcoming G-7 summit. (Screengrab via Fox News)
To better understand the magnitude of Tillerson's statement, here's some backstory:
Sant'anna di Stazzema is the location of a horrific WWII massacre. In 1944, the war in Italy was still raging with the Allies (and their partisan Italian freedom-fighters) and Nazis facing off along the "Gothic Line" in Tuscany. Thousands of starving Italians, at risk of forced labor, and worse, had fled for their lives – some as far away as Genoa and Naples -- seeking refuge in the rugged mountains near the Ligurian coast. Then, as it is today, Sant'anna is incredibly remote and isolated; so much so, that even today it is not located on a map. Surely, a safe haven for refugees, right?
Suddenly, the village of about 400 found itself swelling with over 1,000 refugees seeking safety.
Now remember, the Nazis were under orders to kill between 10-100 innocent civilians for every single Nazi soldier killed by a partisan … and they did so with chilling accuracy and detached obedience. But even though there had been no specific Nazi killings to seek reprisal for, on August 12, 1944, just before dawn, four companies of German SS soldiers advanced on the village. (Screengrab via Fox News)
The Nazis burst into homes, shooting the sleeping residents. They killed literally every living thing they saw: men, women, children, babies … pets and all of the villages livestock. It mattered little if you were old or crippled or pregnant or begging for mercy.
One Evelina Berretti, had gone into labor that morning. The soldiers, according to numerous sources, shot her dead, pulled the baby from her womb and killed it too. They trapped people hiding in their basements and hurled grenades inside. After the carnage was over, the troops tossed the corpses into the church and set fire to it, eventually burning the entire village down.
560 civilians were murdered in Sant'anna within 3 hours.
In 1948 the remains of the victims were exhumed and reburied near the memorial. There was talk of conducting an "Italian Nuremberg" but it never happened. Instead, the Italians have made the location into a "National Park of Peace."
I've been there. Some of my husband's Italian relatives – the Bertozzi's of Tuscany -- were killed at Sant'Anna.
One can't visit there and not be moved to tears. To anger. To resolve.
It's a history lesson we must never forget.
How fitting then, that following Assad's chemical attack on his own people in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chose this location, as he stood next to the Sant'anna memorial in Tuscany today, to send the following message to the world.
As he laid a wreath at the site, according to Global News, he said, "We rededicate ourselves to holding to account any and all who commit crimes against the innocents anywhere in the world. This place will serve as an inspiration to us all." (Photo Credit: Teresa Neumann/ ElijahShopper.com)
NOTE: If you want to learn more about this era of WWII history in Italy, you can read my book "Bianca's Vineyard" based on the true history of our family there.
To see a moving video on Tillerson's visit to Sant'anna, click here.