ARCHIVE MILITARY COURT OF ROME, DOCUMENTATION ON THE PROCESS OF SPICE

 

Witness' depositions

in inquiry and debate

 

Military Public Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of La Spezia. Coordination office of Judicial Police. Information given by Franca Cardinali, daughter of Guglielmo, killed in Gebbia.

“The document quotes the confirmation of what Franca Cardinali had declared to the inquirers of the SIB on 2nd January 1945. It is here reported the record of that examination with the reconstruction of the facts of Gebbia and the arrest of Mr and Mrs Cau. The Cardinali family of Bucine was evacuated to Gebbia and the witness was 18 years old. Her father was killed by the Germans together with other seven persons.”

 

Military Tribunal of La Spezia. Integral transcription of the Trial to defendant Siegfried Boettcher (19.06.2005)

“It contains the testimony of Narciso Ciofi born on 11.04.1926 in San Pancrazio where he lived with his family in June 1944. He is asked if there were partisans in the village and to reconstruct the facts of 29th June. Ciofi tells about the Germans’ arrival around five in the morning, the killings in the wine cellar of the Farm of San Pancrazio and the fire set to the village.”

 

Regional criminal office, northern Rhineland - Westphalia. Examination of a witness, Gerard Platt, born in Spellen on 23.08.1920

“The witness was a member of the grenadier parachuting Division "Hermann Goering" and since 1942 he had been in Italy, in the area of Siena but he doesn't remember the place (Civitella) where the facts happened. He took part in the siege of Monte Cassino.”

 

Public Prosecutor's Office of Dortmund - Central office for the elaboration of the mass crimes of the National Socialism. Charge against Werner Gruen for 'murder'

“Transcripts of Bruno Kutscher’s examination of witnesses. Sandro Romano, Sergeant of the Carabinieri of La Spezia is also present. Berlin, 03.08.2004. Kutscher asserts not to know the facts of Civitella and to have belonged to the Mozart choir of the Hitler Youth in Berlin. From 1943 he was in Italy and from the beginning of 1944 he was with the Goering Division in a "small place south of Florence". He testifies about some defendants and issues statements about the necessity to carry out or not to carry out a 'criminal' order and the consequences of a possible refusal.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 04.08.2004

“Declarations of Herbert Brunch, born in Berlin on 27.07.1920, heard as witness at the Public Prosecutor's Office of Dortmund that accuses Werner Gruen and others of murder and taking part to the murder as accessory. The representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia are present. He asserts not to know anything about the 'slaughter of Civitella, Cornia and San Pancrazio'. He admits to have taken part after 1939 in the Military Corps of Hermann Goering Division, the same that carried out the slaughter. He also asserts to remember few details suffering from epilepsy.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 05.08.2004 - File not found

“Examination of Erwarld Koch, born on 15.04.1919. The representatives of the Proxy of La Spezia are present. The witness was a part of the musical corps and he recalls to have heard speaking among the soldiers of the reprisal and the attack suffered from the partisans. He declares not to have taken part in the slaughter but that he was in those days with the orchestra. An account of the movements of the German troops in Italy during 1944 follows.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 06.08.2004 - File not found

“Testimony of Siegfried Krause, born on 14.10.1915. The representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia are present. He declares to have been sent against his will into the Hermann Goering Division and he sums up his whole military carreer. He doesn't absolutely know anything about the slaughter of Civitella and San Pancrazio.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 22.07.2004 - File not found

“Testimony of Kurt Ahrensmeyer, born on 24.04.1924, heard by the the Public Prosecutor's Office of Dortmund that accuses Werner Gruen of murder and of participation to the slaughters of Civitella, Cornia, San Pancrazio. He belonged to the musical corps of Hermann Goering Division who carried out the slaughter. The corps was disbanded in August 1943. He declares not to know how the events of Civitella happened.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses , 06.07.2004 - File not found

“Testimony of Margot Altmann, born on 23.03.1920, in Werner Gruen’s trial. She testifies about Rolf Matthes, dead in 1994, that on 29th June 1944 he let run away 'two Italians, mother and daughter, in whose house he lodged'. Also he belonged to the musical corps of the Hermann Goering and when he had to escort the two women as prisoners, he helped them escape. He also kept a photo of his daughter that was published in the book by C. Kohl, "Villa Paradiso quando arrivò la guerra in Toscana". Altmann, a friend of Matthes’s, didn't know anything about the slaughters of that day.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 13.07.2004  - 1 File

“Testimony of Elisabeth Rohl, born on 30.09.1925. Wife of Erwin Rohl, dead, a member of the musical corps of the Hermann Goering that took part in the slaughter. The witness makes reference to stories told by her husband which tell about the 'cruel' behaviour of some soldiers at Villa Carletti where some prisoners were kept.”

2 File not found

“Examination of Karl-Heinz Schuster, born on 03.05.1924, in the trial against Werner Gruen. Also he took part in the musical corps of the Hermann Goering, but from the beginning of 1944 for several leaves and illnesses he was transferred to other units and he didn't join the others again.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 05.07.2004

“Examination of Gerhard Wolf, born on 21.01.1924, in the trial against Werner Gruen. He asserts to have been used in the struggle against the partisans and to have seen with his unity a house that was burning knowing that there were some people inside, but he doesn't remember either the name Civitella or that of the other quoted places or the date. He declares not to have been involved in the facts related at the trial. He asserts to have remained a friend of Max Milde's.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 08.09.2004 - File not found

“Examination of Duits Herbert, born on 16.09.1923, he was a member of the musical corps of the Hermann Goering too. He asserts not to know either the facts of 29th June 1944, or what happened at 'Villa Paradiso'.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 02.09.2004 - 1  File not found

“Examination of Reinhard Freissler, born on 28.01.1925, heard in the trial against Werner Gruen. Also he took part in the musical corps of the Hermann Goering. He didn't take part in any action against partisans. He doesn't know anything about the facts of Civitella, Cornia, San Pancrazio. He doesn't provide any information.”

2 File not found

“Subject: physical condition of witness Freissler, whose health seems to be damaged by the examination. This is why it is interrupted.”

 

Regional Office of Criminal Police. Nordrhein-Westfalen, Section 21. Records of examination of witnesses, 10.08.2004 - File not found

“Examination of Alfred Hellmann, born on 23.02.1921. He was a pianist of the musical band of the Hermann Goering. He declares not to know either Civitella or the other places theatre of the slaughter. He cannot express any charge against the defendant.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 12.08.2004 - File not found

“Examination of Heinz Lorenz, born on 28.09.1921, he was a member of the musical corps too. He denies being aware of the slaughter of Civitella, Cornia and San Pancrazio. The musical Corps was disbanded when the Allies disembarked in Sicily and its members were transferred to other units. He was assigned to an infantry Unit. He asserts that he was sent next to Lucca.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 01.09.2004 - File not found

“Examination of Horst Sander, born on 17.02.1921, he was a member of the musical Corps too. He denies being aware of the slaughter of Civitella, Cornia and San Pancrazio. The Corps was disbanded when the Allies disembarked in Sicily and its members were transferred to other units.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 11.08.2004

“Examination of Karl Veltmann, born on 12.04.1923, he was a member of the musical Corps too. He denies being aware of the slaughter of Civitella, Cornia and San Pancrazio but he admits he was interviewed by journalist C. Kohl for her book. He recognizes several men in a photo of the musical Corps, among whom Max Milde, Rolf Matthes, Erwin Rohl. It is attached a dossier completely in German on the slaughters of San Pancrazio and Cornia with recent photos included.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 11.03.2005

“Examination of Gerhard Wolf in the presence of the Public Prosecutor of Dortmund and of representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia. It concerns an operation "against the partisans" during which Wolf could assist to the fire of a house or a barn near or inside which there were some persons who were shouting and then were killed.”

 

Department Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 09.03.2005

“Examination of Hermann Bernhold, born on 15.06.1922. Representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia are present. He declares that the operation of 29th June 1944 in the mentioned places (Cornia and valle del Solaia) was an act of retaliation against the partisans. The facts are narrated despite his hazy memory. The witness remembers only the "several dead" and the women's cries.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 30.03.2005 - 1 File

“Examination of Heinrich Molitor, born on 20.09.1920. Representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia are present. He declares he had taken part in the musical Corps of the Hermann Goering but he never was in combat units. He was a sergeant and he asserts he doesn't know the villages of Civitella and San pancrazio. Images of German uniforms are attached.”

2 File

“Examination of Gerhard Wickert, born on 04.06.1918. He declares that in July 1950 he should have gone to Italy to testify in a trial against general Schmalz, but he didn't go because he was informed that the trial had been dismissed. In 1944 he was an official of the Hermann Goering, in charge of the 'reports on the fights'. He asserts he doesn't remember anything about the order for a mission of reconnaissance in the village of Civitella. Diary pages about the allied attacks suffered by the Hermann Goering in June - July 1944 follow.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Section 21. Examination of witnesses. 31.03.2005 - 1 File not found

“Examination of Philipp Eisinger, born on 14.04.1924. Musician of the Hermann Goering. In the morning of 29th June he was left to guard the military vehicles. He asserts that when his fellow soldiers returned in the evening they were all badly upset and they didn't talk about what had happened. It was clear that it had not been a normal fight action. Photos of German military departments are attached.”

2 File not found

“Examination of Hans Frieb, born on 30.05.1922. He was a sergeant of the musical Corps of the Hermann Goering. He doesn't remember anything and he doesn't recognize the name of the motorcyclist messenger Fabri who is said having been killed in Civitella. During the examination he showed photos of the musical Corps.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. ‘Murder’ procedure of investigation against Werner Gruen and others of the parachuting armoured Division Hermann Goering. 08.06.2005. - File not found

“Alfred Busch, born on 13.10.1924, testifies. He pleads not guilty and he is invited to tell his military career in the Wehrmacht. He was in the musical Corps. He asserts not to remember the places of Civitella, Cornia and San Pancrazio despite being shown a card. He denies having been in Cornia together with witness Wolf. He had no contacts with the other musicians after the war.”

 

Department of Judicial Police Land northern Rhineland-Westphalia. Examination of witnesses. 29.03.2005

“Interrogation of Lilly Metz, born on 05.7.1921, sister of Franz Kwasnioch, belonging to the military Corps of the Hermann Goering. She has kept her brother’s letters and she went to Italy to see in Lucca the house where he had lodged. She knows Mr Molitor but not the other members of the musical Corps. List of photos of various parts of Italy and an image in villa Giurlani, Lucca, follow.”

 

Military Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia. Deposition transcript of Narciso Ciofi, born in Bucine on 11.04.1926. Date: 03.03.2005

“Ciofi tells about the morning of 29th June 1944 when he was at home in San Pancrazio and some German soldiers arrived; they took away his father while he was hiding in the attic. The tank and the armoured car arrived at the bottom of the village shooting. Then they gathered all the men in the square of the village and the women in Pozzaccio street near his house. They set fire to the houses killing whoever was inside. The account of the events follows.”

 

Military Public Prosecutor's Office of La Spezia. Deposition transcript of Renato Valli, born in Monte San Savino on 09.02. 1927. Date: 06.05.2005

“He confirms the statement made to the allied troops on 20th December 1944 confirming that the Germans reached Solaia at about 4 p.m. of 29.06.1944 coming from Cornia and Burrone. He knows neither who the soldiers who performed the slaughter in San Pancrazio were nor those who set fire to a shed with people inside. From there also the body of Modesta Rossi was removed. It is also reported the testimony of 1944.”

 

Set of photocopies of 19 photographs without explanations. They seem to be those listed in file 27 and owned by Lilly Metz.

“The images have been numbered from 42 to 61 and they concern groups of German soldiers mostly of the Musical Corps. A lot of them have been taken in Italy.”

 

 

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