As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
I would like to find out more about the circumstances of death of my great great grandmother Caterina Antonia FORTE (born 31 July 1855, Mortale, parents Domenico Antonio FORTE and Francesca MATASSA). She died sometime between 1943 and 1945. She died at the hands of the Nazis.
The area she lived in was almost right on the Gustav Line, a bitterly fought over area towards the end of the war.
Family history has it that her body, along with those of several others, was found by villagers at a roadside, and taken back to Mortale for burial.
I would also very much like to know what happened to my great great grandfather - Caterina's husband. He was Celeste Antonio FORTE (born 05 April 1851, Mortale, parents Filippo FORTE and Maddalena FUSCO). He may have met the same fate.
I have heard that there was a Nazi Prisoner of War camp at Sora. Is this true? Does anyone know where I could find out more information about this and these deaths? Was there any list kept of those who were killed in the war? If there is, where would I locate it?
Sorry to post on a rather morbid subject - but I would like to be able to put these deaths to bed - in a manner of speaking.
No - I haven't written to Sora yet. I don't like to write to offices with such imprecise information - although I might yet have to. I don't know the exact location of her death, or even the year. I can only guess that it was sometime between 1943 and 1945. I don't know where her death would have been registered which is why I am curious to know if there was a list of local war dead. Even her grave does not have her name on it - only a picture of her and Celeste. My dad only managed to find it last year because he ran into a distant cousin over for the summer who knew its location. Its funny - I know dates and locations for ancestors much further back than these two, and for some reason it bothers me that I know nothing about how, when and where they died. Perhaps it is because they are somehow closer being my grandmothers grandparents.
I would love to know a bit more about how the war affected this area. None of the older folks in the family ever really talked about it - only a few stories. They are all gone now anyway. I guess it was really hard. I'd love to hear any other forum members stories about the war too.
I might get my Dad to do a bit more investigation if he is back this summer. that is what fathers are for
This is just a suggestion but why not write to the town & maybe the province archive asking for information on Sora during the war and if they have any information on her death & his death. And/or see if there are any FORTE, FUSCO, MATASSA, still loving in the area and wrie them.
You'll need a lot of time. I also had the name of a forum once who had quite a bit of information about the war when I was looking for my grandfather. I'll try to find it for you and post. My computer ran whacky this weekend and I lost all my bookmarks....
if you would like to write to civil record office (Ufficio di Stato Civile) to know something about their death, the only thing civil record office can do is issiueing death certificates, in which there is not written how they died.
Eventually it is written of the death act, but it can't be photocopied because the death act is younger than 70 years old.
I hope it helps, bye Riccardo
That is very helpful. I thought that there would probably be a closure on death certificates, but I didn't know it was 70 years. There is a little bit of me that really wants to know how she died, but perhaps I am better not knowing. What make me angry is that she was a very old and harmless lady. There is no justification for killing anyone, but I can't see what risk a woman of nearly 90 was to the nazis. I guess they were just evil people.
Reading Suanj's timeline is bringing home to me just how awful and intense was the suffering of the area. I know that cousins of my grandfather spent the winter of 43/44 living in the mountains, coming back to the villages at night for food. They had been shepherds in their youth, and knew where to hide.
Marisa the advice of ricbru is helpful.. I searched also by the database by locality of nazis victims, but normally are the soldiers victimis and no the civils... the problem is to find MORTALE.. I found only MORTALE hamleth in l'Aquila province, also place of gustav line, and no far from Sora, and the surnames as Forte, Fusco, Matassa are in this area as also in my town that in the past was joined to abruzzi region; so i ask my self: Mortale birthplace is right spelling, and if yes is right place MORTALE hamleth of L'Aquila town in Abruzzo region? let me know...
hi nuccia, yes is a great site, very interesting, and for date are the number victims but no the names... ehhe... best regards, suanj
suanj wrote: hi nuccia, yes is a great site, very interesting, and for date are the number victims but no the names... ehhe... best regards, suanj
It's too bad that names aren't available but I still love it. It's one of my favourites. I learned so much from it and I didn't even know it was yours at first!
How long did it take you to compile all that info and did you have help? Was it done for personal use or for clients? I hope you don't think I'm being nosy but you should share your experiences with us sometime! It would be interesting to compare how different researching in Italy is from researching in the States, or Canada. What are your greatest challenges? Cost must be a big issue in Italy as well.
Maybe other professionals could share their experiences...?
Mortale is a tiny place. All of the births, deaths and marriages listed by the Mormons in Mortale fall under Casalattico. The hamlet may even have changed its name - I'm not sure. It is in the area of Atina and Picinisco.
Suanj - the page Nuccia gave me the address of is great. Is it yours? You do so much for others, why don't you ask everyone else here if they have anything they can contribute to your work. For instance, I have a transcription of the Mormon microfilms for Casalattico given to me by a kind cousin that you could have. In the next few months I will start compiling databases of the other villages my ancestors were from. If they would be of use to you I would be delighted for you to have them. I have put the list of dead from the Arandora Star into database format which makes it easier to search, and I am very slowly compling a list of many of the Italians who died in Scotland beteen 1855 and 1955. It would be good to have a central place to put all of the data everyone has collected - and that central place could be you!!!! What do you think