Filignano Part 3

August 29th, 2010 § 0 comments

The majority of the research I did while in Filignano was focused on an awful period in Italy during the Second World War. After the Allies moved up through Italy towards the end of 1943 from Sicily, they fought their way across the Winter Line. They moved into Filignano and the surrounding area in December 1943 and stayed there, firing over the mountains towards Monte Cassino, where tens of thousands of men were killed. After the Allies had secured the area (and later, further north after Cassino was secured) Moroccan soldiers fighting for the French Expeditionary Forces rampaged through the Italian countryside raping, killing and pillaging in Mediavel fashion, what in Italy is referred to as “Marrochinate”. They targeted men, women, children of all ages, and even animals. It is estimated that over 3000 people fell victim to the actions of the Moroccan Goamier soldiers. It isn’t a well known incident, and indeed the Moroccan soldiers were instructed that if they achieved their military objectives, they could do what they want, and no-one would remember. I found out about the sculpture below, before I left for Italy. It is called “Mamma Ciociara” and is meant to commemorate the protective actions of mothers in the region. I couldn’t find out who the sculptor was, but it seemed strange to me – I think the statue seems pretty sensual – the mother is wearing a skin tight dress, which is coming off the shoulder, and behind her, her daughter can almost appear to be penetrating the mother. It didn’t seem particularly respectful to the women of the time and the bravery they showed during the abuse (which in some cases saw soldiers returning to villages, night after night for a month). But perhaps I am misunderstanding the situation and Italian expressions of admiration for women. So, I went and visited the statue, up in the hills of a small village called Castro dei Volsci. There is a more impressive film dedicated to the time, featuring Sophia Loren, which can be seen/downloaded for free here

"Mamma Ciociara"


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