Rome commemorates anniversary of Nazi raid.
Today marks the 79th anniversary of the Nazi raid on Quadraro, a south-eastern suburb of Rome, during world war two.
"One of the saddest and darkest pages in the history of our city" - Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri wrote on Twitter - "Rome does not forget and nurtures the memory that makes our community stronger and more cohesive."
The Quadraro district was well known for its 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.
Oggi ricordiamo il tragico rastrellamento del #Quadraro del #17aprile 1944 ad opera delle truppe nazifasciste. Una delle pagine più tristi e buie della storia della nostra città. #Roma non dimentica e coltiva la memoria che rende più forte e coesa la nostra comunità. pic.twitter.com/TuEUB6jAeW
— Roberto Gualtieri (@gualtierieurope) April 17, 2023
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.
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Rome remembers Nazi deportation in Quadraro
Quadraro, 00174 Roma RM, Italy
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