Salussola massacre

Coordinates: 45°48′00″N 8°05′00″E / 45.80000°N 8.08333°E / 45.80000; 8.08333

Salussola massacre

Monument built in Salussola, nearby the place where on march 9th 1945 were murdered 20 young partisans in retaliation by a group of Italian fascist soldiers.
Location Salussola, Italy
Date 9 march 1945
Target Partisans
Deaths 20
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale

The Massacre of Salussola consists in the execution, preceded by torture, of 20 Italian Partisans, committed in retaliation by Italian Fascist soldiers on March 9, 1945 in the town of Salussola (Italy).

The facts

In late February 1945, the 109th Garibaldi Brigade, was moving across Piedmont (N.W. Italy) which at the time was occupied by Germans troops and held by the Italian MVSN, ("Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale"). During the march, a detachment of "Zoppis" made up of 33 partisans, stopped to rest in a farmhouse in the Province of Vercelli. In the early hours of March 1, they were taken by surprise and taken prisoner by a Command of Italian Fascist soldiers. The thirty-three men were all taken to different places and a group of twenty-one was led towards the small town of Biella. The Fascista soldier then pretended to create an exchange with German prisoners. but in Salussola, after a whole night of torture and violences documented by the only one survivor,[1] the prisoners were killed by machine guns at dawn on March 9, 1945. The massacre was intended as a reprisal to an attack conducted a few days earlier by other Partisans to a column of military trucks of the "Montebello"’s Fascist Command, which were moving through Salussola. A truck was destroyed in the attack and four soldiers killed.

The victims

memorial of the Salussola's slaughter (1945) conserved in the Town Museum. It remembers the 20 partisans murdered there in retaliation by Italian fascists on march 9th 1945.

Note: Alias (noms de guerre) were a very important part in the life of the Partisans. Mainly used to conceal the true identity (it was a clandestine army) the Alias name outlined also in most cases the character and the personality of the owners. It thus enabled at the same time to hide oneself outside, and to be recognized inside among the other Partisans for a personal, moral or physical characteristic.[2]

See also


  1. "Zona Libera, 15 marzo 1945" Witness (in Italian) of Sergio Canuto Rosa "Pittore" filed, a few days after the massacre, at the Command of the Free Zone. Preserved in the Museum of Salussola.
  2. Tom, Lupo, Fulmine e gli altri L’universo dei nomi di battaglia partigiani (Tom, Wolf, Lightning and the others: the univers of the Partisans' war names)


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