One of the lesser known stories about the last years of World War II in Italy is that of Giuseppina Ghersi . A 13 year old who was raped and murdered because she was on the “wrong side”. The story began on the afternoon of April 25, 1945 when a group of partisans showed up at the home of Ghersi family, owners of a small fruit shop and having no sympathy for the fascist regime, to ask for supplies that were given without a problem. On April 26, the Ghersi spouses were stopped by two armed partisans, who led them to the concentration camp of Legino, one of the seven concentration camps set up by the partisans during the war. Later they arrested other members of the family except for little Josephine, who at that time was the guest of friends.
The couple asked the partisans the reasons for the detention and he was told that it was a simple check. They needed to question their daughter seeing that, years before, after winning a national school competition had received a letter from Mussolini to compliment this, as they did normally. For this innocuous incident partisans they suspected that the girl was a fascist regime spy. So, after speaking with parents to convince them of their good faith, they were released and asked to bring the girl. But, when they returned to the camp with the little girl, Giuseppina and her mother were raped and repeatedly beaten and the girl’s father was forced to witness the while he was sadistically tortured.
During the abuse, the partisans, not content with what they had already stolen, asked repeatedly to reveal the hiding place where the man contained money and other valuable assets. Afterward, the Ghersi were brought to the local partisan control that locked them in jail, while Giuseppina endured days of abuse. Finally, April 30, 1945, the girl was killed by a gunshot and thrown on a pile of other corpses before the walls of the Cemetery of Zinola. A group of women passing in the area testified that: “There was a very young woman’s corpse which appeared badly beaten. The horror was stuck on her face, a mask of blood with one eye swollen bluish and the other wide open looking into hell “.
The story was kept alive through the father who spoke out after the war. These Partisans who have been named Liberators…..were in fact murderer’s….winners….who wrote the history.