On the 20th and 21st of July 1944, after the killing of a German soldier by a group of young partisans, the small village of Robecco sul Naviglio (Milan) and the surrounding countryside suffered a ferocious reprisal. The A. revisits those tragic days and the stratification of the memory of the events in the course of the subsequent decennia. The village appears to react according to a scheme retraceable in similar cases of reprisal against the civilian population in Italy during the Second World War, that is by elaborating a memory not exactly in line with the national and institutional one, in particular as regards the partisans’ behavior. And yet, thanks also to the initiative of the local authorities (the municipal bodies and the Church), in the post-war period the community succeeds in reaching a shared narrative; partial, reticent and simplified as it might be, by contributing to establish a sense of cohesion inside the village such common tale is able to cancel out resentments and divisions that can be often found elsewhere.
Keywords: Second World War, partisan warfare, reprisal, memory, shared narrative, community