Eugenio Calò

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Eugenio Calò

Eugenio Calò (born July 2, 1906 in Pisa , † July 14, 1944 in San Polo ) was an Italian partisan and resistance fighter against National Socialism .


Calò is an official hero of Italy . Born in Pisa as the son of a long-established Jewish family, he was awarded the Golden Medal of Bravery after death , the greatest honor for heroes in Italy. Eugenio Calò was an Italian partisan and the second leader of the “Pio Borri” partisan division that fought the Germans in the Casentino Mountains in Tuscany . As a Jewish victim of Italian fascism during World War II , he lost his workshop, home and family. At the age of 38, Calò was captured, tortured and killed by the Germans.

San Polo massacre

After September 8, 1943, the German invasion forces were ordered from the highest authorities not to respect the Geneva Conventions or the normal war laws and to show no mercy towards the civilian population. The German leadership promised protection against any accusations of brutality. A special order was given to torture and kill armed men and to terrorize the unarmed civilian population. Ten Italian civilians were to be killed for every dead German.

According to this order, all the men from San Polo were rounded up and taken to the Villa Mancini, where the German officers were staying. There the partisans were brutally beaten and tortured. Eugenio and Angelo, both of whom had information about the Allied military plans, did not speak. At the end of the day, the partisans, wounded and barely alive, were taken to a nearby field in the garden behind Villa Giglioso, which was occupied by German soldiers, along with the captured men of the village - 48 in total. The civilians were forced to dig three holes in the ground and then thrown alive. The partisans were also placed in the pits with their heads above the ground and with explosives attached to their bodies. Then they were all blown up. The Germans did not allow anyone to bury the dead.

Golden medal of bravery

Eugenio Calò, Gold Medal of Courage

Calò saved the lives of around 30 captured German soldiers and insisted on humane treatment, although his own family (his wife Carolina Lombroso, daughter Elena and sons Renzo and Albertino) had been captured and deported to Auschwitz only a few months earlier .

Eugenio Calò was posthumous in 1947 for his military activities against the Germans as a member of the Resistancea , his contribution as second in command of the “Pio Borri” partisan division that patrolled the Casention Mountains in Tuscany, for his courage and humanity awarded the greatest honorary decoration for military heroism in Italy - the " Medal of Bravery in Gold ".

Memory of Eugenio Calò

The San Polo massacre, like the liberation of Arezzo on July 16, 1944, is commemorated every year. Local religious, civil and military associations take part in the celebration.

There are streets in Arezzo and Florence that bear the names of Eugenio and Angelo. In the city of Quarata near Arezzo there is a school named after Eugenio Calò.

References and bibliography

  • Original research by Eugenio Calo's nephew Tullio Sonnino and Shmulik Suhami.
  • Fuochi sui Monti dell'Appennino Toscano : Antonio Curina; D. Badiali, Arezzo 1957.
  • Arezzo distrutta 1943-44 : Enzo Droandi; Calosci editore, Cortona, 1995.

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