Museum of the Liberation of Rome

Last updated
Museum of the Liberation of Rome
Museo storico della Liberazione - Roma
ViaTasso145 RomeLiberationMuseum.jpg
The Liberation Museum at Via Tasso 145, Rome
Location map Italy Rome.png
Red pog.svg
Location within Rome
Established1957 (1957)
LocationVia Tasso 145
Coordinates 41°53′19″N12°30′23″E / 41.8886°N 12.5063°E / 41.8886; 12.5063 Coordinates: 41°53′19″N12°30′23″E / 41.8886°N 12.5063°E / 41.8886; 12.5063
Type War museum
Visitors15,000 per annum
Public transit accessManzoni metro station
Website viatasso.eu

The Museum of the Liberation of Rome (Italian : Museo storico della Liberazione - Roma) is located in an apartment building at Via Tasso 145, Rome, close to the basilica of St. John Lateran. It records the period of German occupation of Rome in the Second World War and its subsequent liberation. The building housing the museum was used by the SS to torture members of the Italian Resistance in the first half of 1944.

Contents

History of the building and museum

Following completion of the building in the late 1930s, it was rented to the German Embassy in Rome and initially used as that embassy's Cultural Office. The headquarters of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo), an agency of the SS, led by Herbert Kappler, were established there from 11 September 1943 and occupied the building until the German retreat from Rome. Under Kappler it was transformed into a prison, with the rooms being turned into cells. In January 1944 all windows were walled up to facilitate imprisonment, interrogations and torture of some of the most important figures of the Italian resistance, with an estimated 2000 people passing through the building. [1] On 4 June 1944, the day of the Liberation of Rome, the population entered the building and freed those prisoners who had not been taken and subsequently murdered by the retreating SS. [2]

Following donation of the apartments occupied by the SS to the Italian State in 1950 the museum was established to record the period of German occupation and Rome's subsequent liberation. The donation, by Princess Josepha Ruspoli in Savorgnan di Brazzà, specifically required the rooms to be used as a museum for that purpose. [2] [3] After an initial opening of a few rooms in 1955 by the Italian President Giovanni Gronchi, it was definitively opened in 1957. Sources of materials for the exhibition included Gestapo files and documents provided by the people of Rome, particularly those associated with the resistance. [2] On the night between 22 and 23 November 1999 there was an explosion outside the museum that caused some slight damage. This attempt was believed to have been anti-Semitic in nature. On the following 8 December, 3500 people demonstrated outside the museum in solidarity. [4] In 2007, the nearby metro station of Manzoni was renamed Manzoni - Museo della Liberazione in honour of the museum.

The museum

The museum occupies three floors. In addition to recording the torture that took place on the site, it details the persecution of Rome's Jews, with copies of newspaper reports and posters imposing bans and anti-Jewish orders. It also covers the underground struggle, exhibiting manifestos and handbills of the resistance. It provides information about those imprisoned in Via Tasso and pays particular attention to the Ardeatine Massacre when some of the 335 victims were taken from the prisons of Via Tasso. In some of the cells writings in pencil on the plaster and other graffiti provide touching messages of life and freedom, often written by prisoners nearing death. [3] [5]

Via Tasso 145, Rome. The kitchen was converted into a cell by the SS. Museo di Via Tasso - kitchen.jpg
Via Tasso 145, Rome. The kitchen was converted into a cell by the SS.

The rooms

In addition to the reception area the ground floor has a conference room and a library, which is particularly devoted to the resistance and contains a large number of rare pamphlets and newspapers related to the period.

This contains five cells. Cell 1, the largest, concerns the Ardeatine Massacre. Cell 2 was used for solitary confinement. This, and one on the upper floor, was not covered with wallpaper and displays evidence of messages scratched in the plaster by the prisoners. Cell 3 is devoted to Forte Bravetta, a location on Rome's Janiculum that was used by the Germans for executions, and to the people who died there. Cell 4 remembers the 14 prisoners taken by the SS when they retreated from Rome, and their execution at La Storta on 4 June 1944. Cell 5 was a kitchen converted into an isolation unit. It contains the white flag used by Roman officials in negotiating an ”open city” status with Marshal Kesselring, commander of the German forces in Italy. [5]

Graffiti in the form of a calendar Museo di Via Tasso - calendar graffito.jpg
Graffiti in the form of a calendar

This has 5 cells with exhibitions, in two apartments. Cell 11 contains posters that give orders to and impose restrictions on the population. Cell 12 is the second isolation cell that contains scratched messages from the prisoners. Cell 13 displays newspapers and other memories of the resistance. This display is continued in Cell 14, which also contains the Italian flag raised on the Capitoline Hill in Rome on the day of Liberation. [6] In the second apartment, the one exhibition room records the arrest by the SS of 1259 Jewish citizens from the Roman Ghetto in October 1943. [7]

Cell number 12 is the isolation cell and shows graffiti scratched on the wall by J.Lloyd of the British Army with a picture of a Union Jack planted on a hill. [8]

Related Research Articles

Erich Priebke Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the Waffen SS, convicted of war crimes in Italy

Erich Priebke was a German mid-level SS commander in the SS police force (SiPo) of Nazi Germany. In 1996, he was convicted of war crimes in Italy, for participating in the Ardeatine massacre in Rome on 24 March 1944 in which 335 Italian civilians were killed in retaliation for a partisan attack that killed 33 men of the German SS Police Regiment Bozen. Priebke was one of the men held responsible for this mass execution. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, he fled to Argentina where he lived for almost 50 years.

Ardeatine massacre mass killing carried out by Nazi troops in Rome, 1944

The Ardeatine massacre, or Fosse Ardeatine massacre, was a mass killing carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for the Via Rasella attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome against the SS Police Regiment Bozen.

Karl Hass was an SS officer and German spy who helped deport more than 1,000 Italian Jews to Auschwitz. A perpetrator in the Ardeatine massacre, in which 335 civilians were murdered, he was tried and convicted in Italy in 1998. He spent the last years of his life under limited house arrest in "the splendor of the beautiful Swiss Alps".

Herbert Kappler Nazi war criminal

Herbert Kappler was a key German SS functionary and war criminal during the Nazi era. He served as head of German police and security services in Rome during the Second World War and was responsible for the Ardeatine massacre. Following the end of the war, Kappler stood trial in Italy and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He escaped from prison shortly before his death in West Germany in 1978.

Italian resistance movement Italian combatant organizations opposed to Nazi Germany and Mussolini

The Italian resistance movement is an umbrella term for Italian resistance groups during World War II. It was opposed to the forces of Nazi Germany as well as their puppet state local regime, the Italian Social Republic, especially following the German invasion and military occupation of Italy between September 1943 and April 1945, though the resistance to the Fascist Italian government began even prior to World War II. Known as partisans, the brutal conflict they took part in is referred to as the Italian Liberation War or as the Italian Civil War. The modern Italian Republic was declared to be founded on the struggle of the Resistance.

<i>The Scarlet and the Black</i> 1983 film directed by Jerry London

The Scarlet and the Black is a 1983 American made-for-television historical war drama film directed by Jerry London and starring Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer.

Paolo Emilio Taviani Italian politician

Paolo Emilio Taviani was an Italian political leader, economist and historian of the career of Christopher Columbus.

Italian Civil War Civil war fought in Italy from 1943-45

The Italian Civil War was a civil war in Italy fought by the Italian Co-Belligerent Army and the Italian Resistance against the Italian Fascists and Italian Social Republic from 9 September 1943 to 2 May 1945.

<i>Massacre in Rome</i> 1973 film by George P. Cosmatos

Massacre in Rome is a 1973 Italian war drama film directed by George Pan Cosmatos about the Ardeatine massacre which occurred at the Ardeatine caves in Rome, 24 March 1944, committed by the Germans as a reprisal for a partisan attack against the SS Police Regiment Bozen.

Risiera di San Sabba Nazi concentration and transit camp for Jews and political prisoners in Italy during World War II

Risiera di San Sabba is a five-storey brick-built compound located in Trieste, northern Italy, that functioned during World War II as a Nazi concentration camp for the detention and killing of political prisoners, and a transit camp for Jews, most of whom were then deported to Auschwitz. SS members Odilo Globočnik and Karl Frenzel, and Ivan Marchenko are all said to have participated in the killings at this camp. The cremation facilities, the only ones built inside a concentration camp in Italy, were installed by Erwin Lambert, and were destroyed before the camp was liberated. Today, the former concentration camp operates as a civic museum.

Manzoni – Museo della Liberazione (Rome Metro) Rome Metro A station

Manzoni–Museo della Liberazione is an underground station on Line A of the Rome Metro, inaugurated in 1980. It is located under the junction of Viale Alessandro Manzoni, Via Emanuele Filiberto and Via San Quintino, in Esquilino rione.

Kurt Mälzer German general

Kurt Mälzer was a German general of the Luftwaffe and a war criminal during World War II. In 1943, Mälzer was appointed the military commander of the city of Rome, subordinated to General Eberhard von Mackensen under the overall command of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. Under his authority, Mälzer commanded not only the garrison Wehrmacht troops in Rome itself, but also indirectly the SS security forces in the city.

SS Police Regiment Bozen Nazi German police regiment

Polizeiregiment "Südtirol", later Bozen, and finally SS-Polizeiregiment "Bozen", was a military unit of the German Ordnungspolizei recruited in the largely ethnic-German Alto Adige region in north-east Italy in late 1943, during the de facto German annexation of the region. The ranks were ethnically German Italian draftees while officers and NCOs were Germans.

Raid of the Ghetto of Rome Nazi round-up in the Jewish community of Rome

The Raid of the Ghetto of Rome took place on 16 October 1943. A total of 1,259 people, mainly members of the Jewish community–numbering 363 men, 689 women, and 207 children–were detained by the Gestapo. Of these detainees, 1,023 were identified as Jews and deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Of these deportees, only fifteen men and one woman survived.

Piazza Tasso massacre

The Piazza Tasso massacre was a massacre that occurred on July 17, 1944, at Piazza Tasso in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

San Vittore Prison Prison in the city center of Milan, Italy

San Vittore is a prison in the city center of Milan, Italy. Its construction started in 1872 and opened on 7 July 1879. The prison has place for 600 inmates, but it had 1036 prisoners in 2017.

Maurizio Giglio

Maurizio Giglio was an Italian soldier and policeman. In September 1943, during World War II, the Italian government concluded an armistice with the Allies. He thereafter transmitted military intelligence by radio from Rome about the Nazi forces there to the Allied forces advancing through southern Italy. In March 1944, he was captured, and was executed by the Nazis. He was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour, a decoration which acknowledges deeds of outstanding gallantry. Places have been named, and memorials dedicated, in his honour.

Via Rasella attack 1944 action taken by the Italian resistance movement against Nazi Germany

The Via Rasella attack was an action taken by the Italian resistance movement against the Nazi German occupation forces in Rome, Italy on 23 March 1944.

Alessandro Casati Italian politician

Alessandro Casati was an Italian academic, commentator and politician. He served as a senator between 1923 and 1924 and again between 1948 and 1953. He also held ministerial office, most recently as Minister of War for slightly more than twelve months during 1944/45, serving under "Presidente del Consiglio" Bonomi.

References

  1. "Il Comando di Polizia ed il Carcere Nazista". Museo storico della Liberazione - Roma. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Dal Carcere al Museo". Museo storico della Liberazione. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Museum of the Liberation of Rome". Rome Information. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  4. "Il museo". Museo storico della Liberazione. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Secondo piano". Museo storico della Liberazione. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  6. "Terzo Piano - Int. 8". Museo storico della Liberazione. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  7. "Terzo Piano Int. 9". Museo storico della Liberazione. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  8. Il museo racconta The Museum Narrates Museo della Liberazione di Roma. Rome: Gangemi Editore spa. 2016. pp. Page 112.

Bibliography