August 9th, 2011

‘World’s Untold Stories – Terror in Tuscany: World War II Atrocities’


Nazi atrocities committed against Italian civilians during World War II is the focus of a new documentary that explores the war’s devastating impact on one rural community in Tuscany and the struggles it faced in the conflict’s aftermath.

‘World’s Untold Stories – Terror in Tuscany: World War II Atrocities’ will premiere on CNN International as part of its Award winning documentary strand “World’s Untold Stories” on 13 August, 2011. 

Sharing their story with a worldwide audience for the first time, residents of San Pancrazio, a mountaintop hamlet situated 60 kilometers south ofFlorence, recount the events of 29 June, 1944 when German soldiers stormed their village at daybreak, separated the men from their families and shot them at close range, killing 73. Before retreating, they destroyed the village.  By war’s end, the Nazis’ campaign of terror would claim an estimated 15,000 Italian civilians, including women, children and the elderly. 

Vividly told through rare historical footage, cherished family photographs, and evocative landscapes of the Tuscan countryside, the programme centers on the stories of three survivors who lost many family members in the tragedy yet, bolstered by a fierce self-reliance, reconstructed their lives.  92-year-old Goffredo Cinelli is one of the oldest remaining survivors.  A war veteran, he describes life under fascism and the chaos that ensued following the collapse of Mussolini’s regime.  Gabriella Panzieri, a young girl at the time, recalls the flames rising above her village as she watched helplessly from her hiding place.  And Enzo Panzieri tells us about  San Pancrazio’s women–widowed and with few resources–whom he credits with rebuilding the town.

This programme is a collaboration between Modio Media, LLC and CNN International.

‘World’s Untold Stories – Terror in Tuscany: World War II Atrocities’ airs on CNN International at the following times: 

Saturday 13 August at 2100 BST

Sunday 14 August at 1000 BST 

Tuesday 16 August at 1030 and 1830 BST


For more information, please contact:

Joel Brown

Senior Press Officer

CNN Europe, Middle East & Africa

Tel: + 44 20 7693 0967