The Heroes of Fosse Ardeatine
What are the "Fosse"?
On March 23, 1944, SS Police Regiment Bozen based in Via Rasella, near Barberini Square, was attacked by a group of partisans: a bomb placed in a garbage collector was blown up as Germans were passing by, killing 32; another died the next day. There were also two civilian casualties, Antonio Chiaretti and thirteen-year-old Pietro Zuccheretti.
Kappler, who was commissioned to execute the massacre, always justified himself saying that he had obeyed a higher order. There were no serious investigations on the attackers; the selection of the victims was aimed first at the prisoners linked to the military resistance and the partisans, then those of Jewish religion. However, the number reached was 310, so the Germans added those condemned for crimes of a non-political nature and also others just awaiting trial in the Roman prison of Regina Coeli.
The initial order concerned 320 people, as 32 German soldiers had been killed. During the night following the Via Rasella attack, another German soldier died and Kappler, on his own initiative, decided to add another 10 people. But by mistake it seems that five more people were brought to Fosse Ardeatine, who were also executed because they had seen everything.
The identification of the victims
The 336th victim
Since then, research by the RIS (Department of Forensics Investigations - Reparto Investigazioni Scientifiche, of the Italian Carabinieri corps) using also genetic exams has identified other unnamed remains, two in 2011 - Salvatore Rosa and Marco Moscati - and one, Michele Partito, in 2012. Of the nine still unidentified remains, the names are known: Cesare Calò, Cosimo De Micco, Danilo Lodolo, Alfredo Maggini, Remo Monti, Marian Reicher, Bernard Soike, Heinz Erich Tuchman.
- Alphabetical List of Victims
- The website of the Mausoleo Fosse Ardeatine, an audioguide with the personal stories of the 335 martyrs, told through the materials kept at private and institutional archives. The Mausoleum itinerary traces the events of March 23-24, 1944 with the profiles of the protagonists and illustrates the monumental complex dedicated to the victims of the massacre.
- An article (pdf) by Joseph Reider, the only survivor
- The Official Website of the ANPI (National Association of Italian Partisans)
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