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Template:Lead too short Marocchinate (Italian: plural of marocchinata, roughly translatable as "Moroccans' deeds") is a term applied to the mass rape and killings committed during World War II after the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy by Goumiers, Moroccan colonial troops of the French Expeditionary Corps (FEC)[1]), commanded by General Alphonse Juin.


Goumiers were colonial irregular troops forming the "Goums Marocains", approximately company-sized units rather loosely grouped in "Tabors" (battalions) and Groups (regiments), three of whom (1st, 3rd, 4th Groupements de Tabors) served in the FEC along with the four regular divisions: the 1st Free French Division, the 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division, the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division and the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division . The "Goums Marocains" were commanded by General Augustin Guillaume.

On May 14, 1944, the Goumiers travelled over seemingly impassable terrain in the Aurunci Mountains, outflanked the German defence in the adjacent Liri valley materially assisting British XIII Corps to break the Gustav Line and advance to the next Wehrmacht prepared defensive position, the Hitler Line.

General Alphonse Juin allegedly declared before the battle, "For fifty hours you will be the absolute masters of what you will find beyond the enemy. Nobody will punish you for what you will do, nobody will ask you about what you will get up to."[2]

The Rape

Montecassino was captured by the Allies on May 18, 1944. The next night, thousands of Goumiers and other colonial troops scoured the slopes of the hills surrounding the town and the villages of Ciociaria (South Latium). Over 2,000 women, ranging in age from eleven to 86, suffered from violence, when village after village came under control of the Goumiers. Civilian men who tried to protect their wives and daughters were murdered without mercy. The number of men killed has been estimated at roughly 800.[3]

The mayor of Esperia, a comune in the Province of Frosinone, reported that in his town, 700 women out of 2,500 inhabitants were raped and that some had died as a result. According to Italian sources, more than 7,000 Italian civilians, including women, children and some men, were raped by Goumiers.[4]


In Castro dei Volsci, a monument called the "Mamma Ciociara" now stands to remember all the women and mothers who tried in vain to defend themselves and their daughters.[5]

The rape in cinema and literature

In 1957, the Italian writer Alberto Moravia wrote the novel La Ciociara based on the mass rape in Ciociaria. It is the drama of a mother and her daughter, both raped by the Goumiers.

The movie Two Women (La Ciociara), directed by Vittorio de Sica and starring Sophia Loren was made after this book. In 1960, Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress. This was the first time an actress won an Academy award for a non-English-speaking role.

See also



External links

fr:Crimes de 1944 en Ciociarie it:Marocchinate he:ההשתוללות במונטה קאסינו nl:Marocchinate

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