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Ardeatine Massacre

Article about: Hello everyone, Last night I attended International Evening where I work in Italy. Everyone brings food from their respective countries but, more importantly, everyone also brings alcohol fr

  1. #1

    Default Ardeatine Massacre

    Hello everyone,

    Last night I attended International Evening where I work in Italy. Everyone brings food from their respective countries but, more importantly, everyone also brings alcohol from their respective countries. After having a good conversation with a Turk, a Greek, a German, and a Belgian it was time for me to catch my midnight train to Turin. By this time I had probably drank too much..... anyways I completely missed my train and had to make my way back to where I live in Rome.

    I was slightly upset because I was supposed to spend the weekend with my family up north. I woke up this morning determined not to let this mishap ruin my weekend so I fought through the pain of my headache and left the house. My destination for today was the Ardeatine Caves. These caves are located in Rome and are home to one of the worst atrocities that Italy witnessed, within it's own territory, during the war.
    On 23 March 1944, Italian partisan detonated a bomb near a marching SS unit, killing 33 of the soldiers. The partisans managed to evade capture by slipping into the crowd of Italian civilians. The German police attaché and commander of the Security Police in Rome, SS Herbert Kappler was on the scene soon afterwards to supervise the investigation.

    That evening he was summoned to the headquarters of the German Armed Forces Commandant in Rome, Generalmajor Kurtz Malzer who had decided that the killings called for reprisals. It was decided that 10 Italians were to be executed for each German soldier killed in the attack. These people were supposed to be prisoners on death row. Unfortunately there were only around 20 prisoners on death row so the SS men grabbed random citizens to compensate for more numbers. The youngest victim was 15.

    Once these men were assembled they were brought to the caves and were systematically shot in groups of 5 to 10 by SS soldiers under the command of Erich Priebke and Karl Hass. An error was made and 335 Italians were brought instead of 330. The five extra were not allowed to leave, due to the threat of word reaching outside, and were executed as well. Once this task was complete, the entrances to the caves were sealed with explosives to ensure that no one found out about this. It took the Italians over a year to reopen the caves to recover the bodies. It was a very eerie experience for me to go into these caves. No one else was at this location at the same time. I felt like someone was watching me the entire time. We must not forget these senseless killings because if we do, history has shown that we are bound to repeat them.

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    Last edited by Larry C; 01-01-2017 at 11:51 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    War sux.

  3. #3

    Default

    Interesting memorial! I never knew that they allowed tourists to enter them now. Many years ago, it was forbidden entry. Thanks for posting your photos!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes it is free entry and there is a large memorial / cemetery for the victims today. Definitely worth the visit!

  5. #5

    Default

    I think there is a film about this atrocity called Massacre in Rome with Richard Burton in it. Apart from that I know little about this episode so thanks for bringing it up.

  6. #6

    Default

    I will need to check out that movie! I had never heard of it before I got here. I am glad that I found it!

  7. #7

    Default

    So very sad, at least it has been opened, so history can learn (Hopefully) from this murderous occasion.

    300+ Human beings died here, and what for?, what did it prove?

    Nothing, absolutely nothing.

    That's the saddest thing of all.

    May they Rest In Peace.

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