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Old 12-01-14, 16:04   #1
 
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Movies Hero Lady Awarded Medal for Saving Village From NAZIS

Inside Britain's only Nuclear and Chemical Weapons Factory NOT Discovered by Nazi Intelligence in World War Two

  • Workers at Rhydymwyn Valley manufactured mustard gas and worked on ways to develop uranium
  • It escaped detection from Luftwaffe thanks to cover from nearby woodland and its location in a valley
  • It was manufacturing 40,000 deadly mustard gas shells a week by November 1942
  • Some scientists based there went on to work on Manhattan Project - the first nuclear weapon
By Daily Mail UK, 12 January 2014


These eerie images were taken inside an abandoned arms factory used in World War Two to make mustard gas and help develop the atomic bomb.
Hidden away in rural North Wales, Rhydymwyn Valley is the only site of its type that was not discovered by Nazi intelligence. It is thought that the site was almost impossible to see from the air because of its proximity to woodland, so it escaped the wrath of Hitler's bombers.
In the 1950s Britain relinquished its chemical weapons capability and the site was used by various governmental departments for storage until it closed in 1994. But the site still has many items from when it was in operation, such as a worker's jacket - with a pack of cigarettes still inside the pocket - found hanging among the ancient machines.





Hidden history: This site in the Rhydymwyn Valley, North Wales, was used to manufacture deadly chemical weapons and help develop enriched uranium





Sinister: The interior of the building. Workers were churning out 40,000 mustard gas shells - a deadly chemical weapon - every week in November 1942


Photographer Mathew Growcoot, from Birmingham, uncovered numerous artefacts as he explored the abandoned site, including a cabinet of old documents detailing the site's layout and specific building requirements.
'It was an incredible place to be. You could feel the history surrounding you, especially when you see documents and old items of clothing,' said Mr Growcoot, 24.

'I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the jacket hanging up, I took it outside so I could photograph it in the light and that's when I felt the pack of cigarettes in the pocket.
'It really brought the place to life, I think all history students should get up close and personal with their subject like I did.'


Rhydymwyn Valley abandoned arms factory used in World War 2








Echoes of history: An old pack of cigarettes in a jacket pocket at the abandoned chemical weapons factory. The buildings are strewn with relics from the site's heyday









An old jacket hangs among the machinery. The plant was built in 1939, the outset of the Second World War, by the British Government at the cost of £546,000




Clandestine: The well-hidden site was the only facility if its type to escape detection by the German military machine. Cover from surrounding woodland and its valley location helped keep it safe




The building used for the A-bomb and some of other buildings are now Grade-II listed. The valley itself is in a U-shape and extremely narrow so easily missed from the sky



THE HORROR OF MUSTARD GAS

Mustard gas is a chemical weapon that causes large blisters wherever it contacts the skin.
It was especially deadly as it can penetrate clothing, so it is not only the exposed skin of victims that gets burned.
If the victim's eyes were exposed it can result in temporary blindness and if inhaled, it causes bleeding and blistering within the lungs.
It was fired at troops using artillery shells and bombs.
A British nurse treating soldiers with mustard gas burns during the First World War described the horrific effects.
She said: 'They cannot be bandaged or touched. We cover them with a tent of propped-up sheets. Gas burns must be agonising because usually the other cases do not complain, even with the worst wounds, but gas cases are invariably beyond endurance and they cannot help crying out.'

On August 27th 1939, the UK Treasury approved the £546,000 development of the top secret chemical weapons plant and by November 1942 workers were manufacturing 40,000 25lb mustard gas shells every week.
And between 1942 and 1944 scientists there worked on ways of producing the enriched uranium necessary for the atomic bomb.
Some went on to be involved with the Manhattan Project; the American Government's race to build an atomic bomb before Germany and Japan.

Workers who handled mustard gas, a chemical weapon that causes large blisters to exposed skin and lungs, had to strip completely on arrival to work.
One worker recalled: 'Once we'd stripped off, we were given a bath towel to walk into the department, where you put the work's clothing on.'

The last known person alive to have worked on the site is Rosina Parry, who in March 2010 gave a television interview in which she described her role as a weapons inspector.
She told the BBC: 'The bombs were laid out for us to inspect. We had to pass them, to make sure they weren't damaged in any way. We checked they weren't leaking before they were sent through to be packed.
'We knew you couldn't have any leaks. You only needed a little spot and you'd be burned.
'People in the air force were going to handle them after us so we had to be sure there was nothing wrong with them when they went out.'

The site was an excellent location because of the River Alyn, which was extensively canalised along with a rail network that was established using the mainlines of Chester and Denbigh.




Sinister purpose: The rusting and forgotten machines. From 1942 the plant worked on ways of enriching uranium - a key component of the atomic bomb




Warning: A sign at the entrance to one of the large hanger-like buildings on the site. Workers handled mustard gas, a chemical weapon that causes large blisters to exposed skin and lungs




Horror: Mustard gas is a debilitating and potentially fatal gas weapon, used to infamous effect extensively in the First World war




A worker who handled the mustard gas weapons and checked them for leaks was interviewed about her vital role. She said: 'We knew you couldn't have any leaks. You only needed a little spot and you'd be burned'





Derelict: A cabinet with documents surrounding it inside Building 45, a Grade-II listed building where early development on the atomic bomb took place







A document discovered by Birmingham photographer Mathew Growcoot, who chronicled the site in a series of haunting pictures





Technical documents at the site. 'It was an incredible place to be. You could feel the history surrounding you, especially when you see documents and old items of clothing,' said Mr Growcoot, 24




'That (A-bomb) building was enormous inside and pitch-black. It was terrifying, because it was bat-infested and whilst moving around in the dark all I could hear were the loud echoes of scurrying feet,' said Mr Growcoot





An old picture showing the site when it was operational. A tunnel labyrinth was built beneath the site with the aim of being able to store 1,500 tonnes of charged weapons and have complete safety from enemy bombing.









A staff member wearing protective clothing (top), including goggles, as he worked. Mustard gas could cause temporary blindness.



A tunnel labyrinth was built beneath the site with the aim of being able to store 1,500 tonnes of charged weapons safe from enemy bombing.

The valley itself is in a U-shape and extremely narrow so easily missed from the sky.

The building used for the A-bomb and some of other buildings are now Grade II listed.

'That (A-bomb) building was enormous inside and pitch-black. It was terrifying, because it was bat-infested and whilst moving around in the dark all I could hear were the loud echoes of scurrying feet,' said Mr Growcoot.
'There were also creepy scarecrows and faces in the bushes at the side of the paths, I don't mind saying I jumped out of my skin a few times.'








The photographer said: 'There were also creepy scarecrows and faces in the bushes at the side of the paths, I don't mind saying I jumped out of my skin a few times'

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Old 30-01-16, 20:02   #2
 
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Breaking News PhOtOs-Neo-Nazis Daub Swastikas in BLOOD on Immigrant Coaches

'Neo-Nazi Gangs Daub Swastikas in BLOOD' as Protest Descends Into Violent Clashes with Police and Anti-Fascists

  • Far right and anti-fascist groups clashed at an anti-immigration rally which saw bricks and smoke bombs thrown
  • Demonstrators from National Front and far-right South East Alliance among those who marched against immigration
  • Clashed with anti-racism activists, who had organised a counter-demonstration and rally quickly turned into chaos
  • Prior to demonstration in Dover UK, two groups clashed at Maidstone service station where coaches were vandalised
  • Nine people arrested and weapons seized included a lock-knife, knuckle duster, pieces of wood, glass and hammers
Daily Mail UK, 30 January 2016


Dover UK was turned into a bloody battleground today as Neo-Nazi gangs clashed with anti-fascist protesters at an anti-immigration rally in the coastal town.


Flag waving demonstrators from far-right groups such as the National Front, neo-Nazi organisation Combat 18, Scottish Defence league and South East Alliance marched through the town to protest against the arrival of immigrants.


They clashed with anti-racism activists who had organised a counter-demonstration and the peaceful rally quickly descended into chaos as bricks, glass and pieces of wood were thrown.

Police in riot gear tried to control the scuffles in the streets as the violent protests left the seaside town resembling a 'war zone'.

Nine people have been arrested and more than 20 weapons seized, including a lock-knife, knuckle duster, pieces of wood, glass, hammers and bricks.





A far-right protester with a bald head and covered in blood bellows at the anti-fascist demonstrators, as the protests turned ugly in Dover





A swastika was daubed in blood on a coach at Maidstone services, as the two groups came to blows just before 11am today





A coach travelling from Goldsmith University in London to Dover had its windscreen smashed in by the far-right protesters





Police wearing helmets attempt to control the crowds following the demonstration at 1pm today (pictured are the far-right protesters)





A man launches a punch at a counter protester as scenes turned violent in Dover - which is the gateway to the UK





Far-right groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators - pictured is a man with an English Defence League tattoo with the words 'never f****** surrender ever'


The city has been the scene of an ongoing standoff between anti-fascists and right-wing groups led by a resurgent National Front.
Prior to the protests in Dover's Market Square, there were reports of an altercation at Maidstone service station just before 11am, where coaches carrying pro-immigration protesters from London came under attack.
Several coaches had their windows smashed and one man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

Two coaches had swastikas inked on them in blood following the clash between the rival groups.

Anindya Bhattacharyya, 44, from Whitechapel in east London, who was travelling with the anti-fascist group, said he was away from the coaches and inside the service station when violence erupted.

He said: 'The service station staff bolted the doors and through the windows we could see a large group of fascists. They were wearing Combat 18 T-shirts and one had an Enoch Powell T-shirt.

'They attacked one of our coaches and smashed up the windows and one of them came and daubed a swastika in blood on the side of one of the coaches.'





Police in riot gear and dog handlers stemmed the violence as the protests turned ugly in the Kent town





A girl from South East Alliance holds a placard accusing left-wing activists of not taking in refugees from war-torn regions





A skinhead with blood pouring from both his eyes was among the protesters in Dover today for an anti-immigration rally





A man holds a St George's flag with the words 'Refugees not welcome' scrawled on it as a group of men converge in the background






Demonstrators, one wearing a scarf around his face, wave the St George's flag during today's march as the two groups clashed





Police officers escort right wing protesters, carrying flags with one saying 'secure our borders', on the march to the Port of Dover





One demonstrator, dressed in all black and carrying a rucksack, holds a purple smoke bomb during the march





The South East Alliance and other far-right groups protest against immigration whilst the Kent Anti-Racism Network (KARN) staged a counter protest





Police hold back demonstrators in Dover as the peaceful rally quickly descended into chaos and left the town resembling a 'war zone'





The Scottish Defence League were also out in force in Dover today - as far-right gropus came together to protest against immigration





A blood-soaked bald man with blood streaming down his face and with 'EDL' tattooed on his fingers glares at the medics on the scene





The same man roars at the left-wing activists, along with other far-right protesters, as Dover was turned into a battle ground today





A man with blood gushing from his head grins - in total, nine people were arrested and more than 20 weapons seized


Far-right groups made a speech about 'third world scum', with one speaker claiming Jeremy Corbyn 'hates everything British...and is destroying Britain'.

Before the demonstration the South East Alliance, which describes itself as an 'angry, white and proud' street movement, advertised the protest on its Facebook page, saying: 'Remember we are there for a purpose. To highlight certain issues we face. We are not there to have a kick-off with the red scum but we do know they will attack us and we shall defend ourselves without hesitation.'

And following the march the National Front posted on its own Facebook site, saying: 'A big well done and thank you to all white nationalists who attended Dover today to save our country from invasion. Respect to all in attendance.'

Shadow secretary of state for international development Diane Abbott is among those who travelled to Dover to join the anti-fascist protest and she addressed the crowd.

She told the cheering audience: 'It's 2016, Time for those racist rocks to go. Mr Cameron, tear down those cliffs.'

Counter-demonstrations included members from Dover Stand Up to Racism (DSUR) and the Kent Anti Racism Network (KARN).
Bridget Chapman, chairman of Kent Anti Racism Network, said: 'We're here today because there's been a big demonstration called by fascists. It's about the fourth time in a year they've had a far-right demonstration.

'The people of Dover are sick and tired of their town being used to spread a message of hate. We're here to firmly reject that message of hate.
'We want to very peacefully and responsibly say to the fascists that they are not welcome in our town.'

Duncan Cahill of Hope Not Hate, an anti-racist organisation, added: 'What we have today and for the past few months [in Dover] is massive call-outs by just about every Nazi group in the country and everyone involved in anti-fascism has gone down there today for what looks like a massive punch-up.'





Anti-fascist demonstrators were addressed by shadow secretary of state for international development Diane Abbott





Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, addressed anti-racism demonstrators as protest groups gathered





Two activists supporting immigration hold a banner which reads: 'London 2 Calais' as groups met in Dover's Market Square





Anti-fascist protesters dressed in all black, some with their faces covered, break through police lines as they clash with right wing protesters


Kent Police described the protest as a 'fast-moving and ongoing incident' and said nine people had been arrested and more than 20 weapons seized.
Weapons included a lock-knife, knuckle duster, pieces of wood, glass, hammers and bricks.

A spokeswoman told MailOnline: 'Extra officers were on duty in the town to allow a march to the Eastern Docks and a separate protest in the town centre to go ahead as planned, while minimising disorder and disruption to the community.

'One person suffered a broken arm and five others sustained minor injuries.'

Three people were arrested during the demonstration itself, while six were arrested following the incident at the service station.





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Old 21-09-17, 12:53   #3
 
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Movies YouTube Failing to Remove Neo-NAZI & Terrorist Videos

YouTube Under Fire After Neo-Nazi and Taliban Videos Found on Site > Despite Being Flagged

Yvette Cooper says delays removing reported content are ‘unacceptable’

Independent UK, 21 Sept 2017.




The video sharing company said it is continually increasing its efforts
PA...


Extremist footage posted by Islamists and neo-Nazis remains online despite pledges from the world’s largest internet companies to remove it, a study has found.

Research carried out by the Henry Jackson Society think-tank found hundreds of extremist videos are available on YouTube, including many that have already been flagged to monitors.

One was entitled “Adolf Hitler was right”, another showed a Muslim man being attacked and Taliban propaganda was also found on the world’s second most-viewed website.

Yvette Cooper, who commissioned the report, said it was “unacceptable” that footage glorifying extremist violence remained online.

The Labour MP, who is chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, accused YouTube of taking too long to remove the material, adding: “Whether that’s Islamic extremism or far Right extremism, the reality is that this material is far too easy to access.

“We know social media can play a role in the radicalisation of young people, drawing them in with twisted and warped ideology.

“YouTube have promised to do more, but they just aren't moving fast enough.”

The Henry Jackson Society found that 61 reported far-right videos and 60 Islamist videos were still online on YouTube, although dozens of videos that had been flagged were removed.

Those remaining included a video entitled “Adolf Hitler was right”, which showed praise of the Nazi leader alongside images of Jewish families being taken to concentration camps.

Another video showed a child singing over footage glorifying terrorism, and Taliban propaganda was also found on the site.

Another video showed a suspected hate crime seeing a man slapping a Muslim teenager with bacon and calling him “Isis scum”.

All four videos were flagged in July and August, but remained online this week.

Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, said his group’s research showed that in more than a third of Islamist terror cases between 1998 and 2015, the internet had a major impact on the offender’s engagement with extremism and terrorism.

“These ideologies can be freely disseminated and amplified online and there is room for improvement by technology firms to provide spaces to expose and debate their inconsistencies,” he added.

Ms Cooper called on the Government to introduce “proper penalties and fines for social media companies who do not act swiftly enough to remove dangerous and illegal content”.

Her comments came after separate research by the Policy Exchange think-tank found that almost three quarters of the British public want large internet companies to do more to find and delete content that could radicalise people.

Its report warned that Isis is winning an ongoing “netwar” against authorities trying to stop the spread of extremist material online and remains able to distribute propaganda and instructions on carrying out terror attacks.

The Policy Exchange found that jihadi content was accessed more frequently in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, with the country in fifth place globally behind Turkey, the US, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

General David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA, said current situation was “clearly unacceptable”, adding: “It is clear that that our counter-extremism efforts and other initiatives to combat extremism on line have, until now, been inadequate.”

The retired general, who commanded Nato forces in Afghanistan, said the attempted bombing in Parsons Green underscored the threat generated by instructions and other materials available online.

He cautioned that while few doubt Isis’ physical “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq will be eradicated along with most of its militants, the group will continue to inspire atrocities around the world by targeting the most vulnerable sections of society with its “poisonous ideology”.

Analysts have warned that the role of the internet in radicalisation has been overplayed, with research showing that personal relationships and real-world networks play a defining role, but online propaganda has been targeted in intensifying crackdowns after being linked to a series of terror attacks.

In May 2016, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube signed up to an EU-sponsored code of conduct that pledged to establish improved ways to take down illegal hate speech and other extremist material.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said she had already made it “crystal clear” to internet firms that “they need to go further and faster to remove terrorist content from their websites and prevent it being uploaded in the first place”.

She added: ”This Government has been instrumental in the creation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which is being led by the major companies and will develop technical solutions to automatically detect and remove terrorist propaganda.

“The internet cannot be used as a safe space for terrorists and criminals, and industry need to ensure that the services they provide are not being exploited by those who wish to do us harm.”

Theresa May is due to co-host a meeting on terrorist groups’ use of the internet alongside Emmanuel Macron and Paolo Gentiloni on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for YouTube said the site was “determined to be part of the solution” to extremism.

He added: “We’ve put our best talent and technology to the task and we’re making progress through new machine learning technology, partnerships with experts and collaborations with other companies through the Global Internet Forum.

“Through new uses of technology, the majority of videos we removed for violent extremism over the past month were taken down before receiving a single human flag. We’re doing more every day to tackle these complex issues.”

There have been concerns that YouTube's new algorithms intended to identify extremist content have been resulting in the removal of footage documenting war crimes in Syria.

Other mainstream platforms including Google, Twitter and Facebook have recently been found to contain extremist links and posts, with analysts comparing the continuing battle to stop removed content re-appearing elsewhere to a game of “whack-a-mole”.
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Old 06-03-19, 05:05   #4
 
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Default re: Hero Lady Awarded Medal for Saving Village From NAZIS

Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

Ravensbrück was a women's concentration camp during World War II, located in northern Germany, 90 km north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück (part of Fürstenberg/Havel). Construction of the camp began in November 1938 by SS leader Heinrich Himmler and was unusual in that it was a camp primarily for women and children.

The camp opened in May 1939. In the spring of 1941, the SS authorities established a small men's camp adjacent to the main camp. Between 1939 and 1945, over 130,000 female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrück camp system; around 40,000 were Polish and 26,000 were Jewish. Between 15,000 and 32,000 of the total survived.

Although the inmates came from every country in German-occupied Europe, the largest single national group incarcerated in the camp consisted of Polish women. Siemens & Halske employed many of the slave labor prisoners. The first prisoners at Ravensbrück were approximately 900 women. The SS had transferred these prisoners from the Lichtenburg women's concentration camp in Saxony in May 1939. By the end of 1942, the inmate population of Ravensbrück had grown to about 10,000.

There were children in the camp as well. At first, they arrived with mothers who were Gypsies or Jews incarcerated in the camp or were born to imprisoned women. There were few of them at the time. There were a few Czech children from Lidice in July 1942. Later the children in the camp represented almost all nations of Europe occupied by Germany. Between April and October 1944 their number increased considerably, consisting of two groups. One group was composed of Roma children with their mothers or sisters brought into the camp after the Roma camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau was closed. The other group included mostly children who were brought with Polish mothers sent to Ravensbrück after the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
With a few exceptions all these children died of starvation.

Ravensbrück had 70 sub-camps used for slave labour that were spread across an area from the Baltic Sea to Bavaria. Among the thousands executed by the Germans at Ravensbrück were four female members of the British World War II organization Special Operations Executive: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, Lilian Rolfe and Violette Szabo. Other victims included the Roman Catholic nun Élise Rivet, Elisabeth de Rothschild (the only member of the Rothschild family to die in the Holocaust), Russian Orthodox nun St. Maria Skobtsova, the 25-year-old French Princess Anne de Bauffremont-Courtenay and Olga Benário, wife of the Brazilian Communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes.

The largest group of executed women at the Ravensbrück camp was composed of 200 young Polish patriots who were members of the Home Army. Among the survivors of the Ravensbrück camp was Christian author and speaker Corrie ten Boom. Corrie ten Boom and her family were arrested by the Nazis for harbouring Jews in their home in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The ordeal of Corrie and her sister Betsie ten Boom in the camp is documented in her book The Hiding Place which was eventually produced as a motion picture. Countess Karolina Lanckoronska, a Polish art historian and author of Michelangelo in Ravensbruck also was imprisoned in the camp from 1943--1945.


Eileen Nearne, a member of the Special Operations Executive was a prisoner in 1944 before being transferred to another work camp and escaping. Additional Ravensbruck survivors include Gemma LaGuardia Gluck - who wrote a memoir about her experiences at the camp and afterward - her daughter Yolande, and Yolande's baby son.

During her imprisonment in Ravensbrück, the anthropologist and member of the French resistance Germaine Tillion secretly wrote a comic operetta about camp life titled Le Verfügbar aux Enfers. In 1975, she published a comprehensive study of the camp, Ravensbruck: An eyewitness account of a women's concentration camp. In 1945, just prior to liberation, the poet, playwright and author of The Green Goos, Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski, managed to save one of the Ravensbruck inmates from certain death. Her name was Lucyna Wolanowska. They began living together, and in January 1946 their son was born, also named Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński. Later that same year Lucyana Wolanowska and her son emigrated to Australia.



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Old 19-03-19, 19:07   #5
 
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Update Re: Hero Lady Awarded Medal for Saving Village From NAZIS

British Pensioner Awarded Star of Italy for Saving Village From Destruction by Nazis 74 Years Ago

The extraordinary story of a fearless teenage girl who saved an entire village from being executed by the Nazis has come to light after she received a gallantry award 74 years later.

The Telegraph UK, 19 MAR 2019.





Gabriella Ezra, 91, with her Star of Italy medal.
Credit: BNPS


Gabriella Ezra, 91, who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, intervened to stop her father Luigi and 37 other inhabitants of a village in her native Italy from being massacred by a Nazi firing squad.

She has now been awarded a prestigious Star of Italy medal after her son Mark wrote to the Italian embassy to make them aware of his mother's heroic actions on the morning April 28, 1945.

Gabriella, who was 17 at the time, chased after a German officer and pleaded with him to show mercy to the villagers of Capella di Scorze, near Venice, who had been rounded up and locked in a cowshed.

The Germans were after retribution following an attack on their men by Italian partisans which had left several of them wounded.

They had previously executed 31 men in a neighbouring town following partisan action, with these prisoners set to suffer the same fate.


Gabriella, who spoke immaculate German as her family had lived in Austria, was taken by the officer to speak to his commander.

She lied about the villagers having no knowledge of the ambush and was told that she would also be shot if the Germans discovered the men were not innocent.

Luckily, the villagers had buried their partisan armbands and all the prisoners were released, with the German commander telling them they owed their lives to Gabriella.

The next day the Germans fled the village, just hours before it was liberated by the Allies.





Gabriella in her native Venice just after the war. Credit: BNPS


After the war Gabriella met and married British army officer Captain Peter Ezra and moved to Britain with him.

Her son Mark, 65, a film director, recently wrote a letter to the Italian embassy to tell his mother's extraordinary tale.

The ambassador subsequently presented her with the Star of Italy, awarded to British and Commonwealth forces who served in the Italian Campaign from 1943 to 1945.


"If my mother had not intervened they would all have been killed," Mark said. "She showed such remarkable courage.
"I wrote to the embassy and my mother was invited to receive the Star of Italy. She was understandably delighted.
"The whole family was at the ceremony and we had a fabulous time."


The local partisans had forewarned the people of Capella di Scorze about the attack on the Germans and advised them to close their shutters in case their windows shattered.

Afterwards the Germans arrived and rounded up 38 men, prompting Gabriella's brave intervention.

The retired language school teacher remembered that after a partisan attack, the Germans took the men from the village, including her father, and locked them in a cowshed.

"I told my mother I had to do something so I ran after the officer and pleaded with him that these men were just farmers who cared about their fields and cows,” she said.

"He took me to the commandant and I begged him not to kill them, telling him again and again these men were innocent.

"They took me outside and lined up the men with a firing squad and said ‘this woman tells me you are innocent. If she's lying I'll kill you all, her first’.

The men were searched, but had hidden their partisan armbands in the cowshed. As they were led away Gabriella’s father passed her his watch and a note for her mother, thinking he was about to be killed.

"But the commandant then ordered for them to be set free saying if there were any more attacks he would destroy the village.

The next morning, British soldiers arrived to liberate the village.

"When the British came we cried tears of joy and embraced them. It was such a relief."


Gabriella met Captain Peter Ezra, of the Middlesex Regiment, while working as a translator in the Mayor's office in Mestre, outside Venice, in 1946.
They married in Venice in 1949 and moved to Hove, where she worked as a language coach.

Capt Ezra died in 2005.

She was greeted as a hero when she first returned to the village 25 years ago, with a meal laid out on the square in her honour.

She said:
"I was showing my daughter around the village when a man spotted me and said 'oh my goodness it's Gabriella'.

"They made a meal for me in the square. They said they were very pleased to see me because I had saved the village."
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