I’ve been reading the novel “Where My Heart Used To Beat” by Sebastian Faulks. Part of the novel is set in southern Italy in the last years of World War Two and reference is made to an incident of which I had previously been totally unaware. Apparently it has been given the term ‘Marocchinate’.
‘Marocchinate’ is Italian for “those given the Moroccan treatment” meaning “women raped by Moroccans”) and it is a term applied to women who were victims of the mass rape and killings committed during World War Two after the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. These were committed mainly by the Moroccan Goumiers, colonial troops of the French Expeditionary Corps, commanded by General Alphonse Juin.
Monte Cassino was captured by the Allies on 18 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 (in South Latium). Italian victims’ associations alleged that up to 60,000 women, ranging in age from 11 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. The number of men killed has been estimated at 800.
You can learn more about this appalling occurrence here.