Villa il Focardo, Rignano sull'Arno
|the entrance to Villa il Focardo|
This, just one of the stories of this tragic period, must stand for all, at a time when we face the memories and present horrors of conflict and prejudice in our world.
In August 1944 as the Allies marched up the Valdarno and the Nazis prepared for the final battles before their retreat, many locals of good sense went to hide in the wooded hills around Rignano. Apparently even some German soldiers had advised Einstein to be careful. Warned by the partisans, on August 3rd Robert Einstein was finally convinced that he should join them, but since his wife, Cesarina Mazzetti (56) and two daughters, Luce (27) and Annamaria (18) were not Jewish, they stayed behind at the villa, hiding in a cellar with their young maternal cousins, Lorenza and her sister, and some farmers' families.
|this is the probable location of the murders: the villa's threshing floor|
On the morning of August 4th, Milton Wexler, a Fifth Army major and a physics student of Albert Einstein, whose personal mission had been to reach Albert's cousin and his family, arrived at Villa il Focardo, eight hours too late.