Rome remembers Nazi deportation in Quadraro

Rome residents commemorate 77th anniversary of Nazi raid.

Today is the 77th anniversary of the Nazi raid on Quadraro, a south-eastern suburb of Rome, during world war two.

The district was well known for its numerous partisans and opponents of the regime, and as such was referred to as a "wasp's nest" by the SS chief in Rome, Herbert Kappler.

At dawn on 17 April 1944, under the code name Walfisch (Operation Whale), the Nazis rounded up around 2,000 men from their homes in Quadraro, deporting as many as 947* men, aged between 16 and 60, to concentration camps in Germany and Poland.

The operation took place at around 04.00 and was led by Kappler who, less than a month earlier, was responsible for the Fosse Ardeatine massacre near the Via Appia Antica on 24 March.

The then German consul general of Rome, Friedrich Eitel Moellhausen, wrote that Quadraro was viewed as the refuge of "informers, partisans, communists." 

Moellhausen also wrote that Kappler "was of the opinion, expressed several times, that when someone could not find refuge or welcome in convents or at the Vatican, he slipped into Quadraro, where he disappeared."

For Rome, in terms of size, the Quadraro operation was second only to the raid at the Ghetto district on 16 October 1943, when more than 1,000 Jews were deported to the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz.

*The number of those deported from Quadraro ranges from 683, based on a list compiled by the parish priest Gioacchino Rey, to the much higher estimates of 740 and 947.

Image: Identification card of Sisto Quaranta who survived the deportation of Quadraro and died aged 93 in 2017. Photo Corriere della Sera.

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Address Quadraro, 00174 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome remembers Nazi deportation in Quadraro

Quadraro, 00174 Roma RM, Italy