German FM Commemorates Nazi Victims of Small Italian Hill Town

Frank-Walter Steinmeir says country won't forget its responsibility for the massacre.

Holocaust memorial Italy
Holocaust memorial sites, such as this one in Schoenhauser Allee, are common in contemporary Germany, still in a process of continuous reformation and re-education since the end of WWII. AP

DPA - Italy and Germany on Sunday will remember the 244 victims of a massacre by German troops 70 years ago as German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier travels to the site in Tuscany.

"I am shaken 70 years after the massacre at how much suffering the Germans unleashed in Civitella," he said ahead of the ceremonies. "With my participation, I would like to express that we do not forget our responsibility."

Steinmeier and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini will take part in the remembrance of the killings on June 29, 1944, during World War II when German soldiers kicked in the doors of houses and gunned down their occupants and rounded up other residents in the town square and shot them as their families and neighbors watched. The massacre of men, women and children in the hill town of Civitella in Val di Chiana took place in retaliation for the killing of two German troops by partisans.

Steinmeier lauded efforts "to transform this site of horror into a place of meeting and reconciliation."