“Im Markischen Sand – Nella sabbia di Brandeburgo”, a documentary film unveiling a very sorrowful past, will be screened at the Italian Cultural Institute in Berlin on September 8 at the presence of the directors: Katalin Ambrus, Nina Mair and Matthias Neumann. In the film, the authors undertook a long journey through the memories conserved in Italy and Germany. Their exploration of the past began with a crime that was concealed and hushed up for decades: on 23 April 1945, soldiers of Germany’s Wehrmacht executed 127 Italian military prisoners in a sand quarry in Treuenbrietzen, in Brandenburg. The massacre was forgotten but its memory has now re-emerged. When the inhabitants of the city started coming to terms with their past, they brought back up the memory of those acts of violence committed during the last days of war.
“Im Markischen Sand – Nella sabbia di Brandeburgo” is a documentary on violence fallen into oblivion, on the cover-up of guilt and on shouldering the responsibility of history. The story of the Italian military prisoners in World War II has never been officially acknowledged in Germany’s and Italy’s collective memory. Following the capitulation of 8 September 1943 and the breaking of the alliance between Rome and Berlin, 650,000 Italian soldiers were deported to German forced labour camps. Of these, 50,000 never returned home. The film tells their story, using the Brandenburg forced labour camps as the backdrop. The event was organised by the Italian Cultural Institute in Berlin in partnership with Out of Focus Filmproduktion.