On the 22d of June, as every year, an act of commemoration was held in Gubbio in memory of the the massacre of the “40 martyrs”.
On that date in 1944, following the killing of a Wehrmacht officer, 40 civilians were rounded up and shot in retaliation. These events left the city divided and traumatised. But in 2004, a great story of reconciliation began. Read on….
In 2004, the daughter of one of the 40 victims, Guglielmina Roncigli, met the son of the murdered German officer, Peter Staudacher, and their meeting led to a long and sincere correspondence. The author Giacomo Marinelli Andreoli has written a book, “Nel segno dei padri” about their friendship. Its primary message is the recognition that only when errors on both sides of a conflict are acknowledged can true reconciliation take place.
In the book, Peter Staudacher describes himself and Guglielmina as “two lost children, now old, who meet after a long life to seek reconciliation.” For her part, Guglielmina writes: ” When you are ready, and if you wish it, we can work together to make our contribution, and to make it clear that only through mutual understanding, forgiveness and dialogue can we do justice to the past and build a true peace for the future.”