- Point of Interest
- Via di Ponte Quattro capi, 39, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
During the Roman Ghetto round-up, the Fatebenefratelli hospital hid a number of Jews before they could be loaded on trucks, forcing them in the hospital for the so-called “K syndrome”.
In front of the Synagogue of Rome is the oldest bridge on the river Tiber, the Fabricio Bridge. Built in 62 b.C., it is almost intact, if one excludes the first arch, renovated in the 20th century.
The Tiber Island has always been used as a place for cures, with two hospitals, the Fatebenefratelli and the Israelitic hospital.
During the Roman Ghetto round up, the Fatebenefratelli hid a number of Jews before they could be loaded on trucks, forcing them in the hospital for the so-called “K syndrome”.
The disease, made up by a young antifascist doctor and by the head physician of the hospital, was named after the first letter of the family names of Albert Kesselring, the commander in chief of the Mediterranean theatre, and Herbert Kappler, the commander of the German police and security services in Rome. The two doctors signed fake documents with the name of the “K syndrome”, defined as very contagious, to make the Nazis refrain from checking the names of the patients.
Indeed, when, in the evening of 16 October 1943, the Nazis came to the hospital, the doctors welcomed them with masks, explaining that a terrible epidemic of “K disease” had broken out in the hospital. The SS, fearing the contagion, retreated. This way, the brave doctors of Fatebenefratelli hospital were successful in saving dozens of Jews and antifascists from death and deportation.
The region of Lazio in central Italy was the scene of heavy fighting during WWII: here the battles of Monte Cassino and Anzio were fought before the Allies could capture the capital of Rome. Recall the landings of Anzio and
Rome was the first capital to be liberated from Nazi German occupation on 4 June 1944. Rome had been declared an open city which meant that it could be captured without any fighting. This was a welcome relieve after the heavy fought campaign of Cassino.
The Museum of the Liberation in Via Tasso, Rome, is the symbolic place of the Nazi occupation of the Italian capital. The museum occupies an entire building which was used as a prison by the Sicherheitspolizei, the Nazi Security Police
The EUR district, southern of Rome, is one of the biggest examples of fascist urban planning and architecture in Italy. Mussolini planned to build a new Rome looking toward the future, and the EUR district represents the legacy of the fascist rationalist architecture.
On 24 March 1944 German forces executed 335 Italian prisoners in the Ardeatine Caves (Fosse Ardeatine) just outside of Rome. The executions were an act of reprisal for an attack on German forces
which took place in Via Rasella, in Rome. None of the people executed were involved in the attack.
In the Lateran Palace, in Rome, many Italian antifascists and politicians found shelter between 1943 and 1944. After the liberation, many of these wrote the new Italian Constitution and they subsequently governed the country.
The Wedekind Palace (Palazzo Wedekind) on the Colonna Square (Piazza Colonna) in Rome was the headquarters of the National Fascist Party during the period of Fascist rule in Italy. After Italy’s capitulation came the Nazi occupation during which many Italian fascists reappeared on the scene again centering around the Palazzo.
In the aftermath of the capitulation of Italy, on 8 September 1943, Rome was left alone; the army and dozens of civilians tried to resist the German attack on Rome at Porta San Paolo, to no avail. The Germans eventually occupied the city.
One of the crucial moments for Italian history is 19 July 1943, when the Allies bombed the San Lorenzo district, speeding up the fall of Mussolini, who a week later was defeated after a vote of no-confidence by the Great Council of Fascism and arrested.
On 23 March 1944, in Via Rasella, in the centre of Rome, a bomb by GAP (Patriotic Action Group) partisans killed 33 Nazis. As a reprisal, the German command ordered the shooting of ten Italians for every German killed.