Rome sings Bella Ciao to mark anniversary of Fosse Ardeatine massacre

No procession in Rome to mark 76th anniversary of massacre.

With Italy in lockdown due to the Coronavirus emergency, no public events are permitted, including the annual procession to mark the anniversary of the Fosse Ardeatine massacre in 1944, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

This year, to commemorate the 335 people killed by the then occupying Nazi forces on this day 76 years ago, Romans are being asked to light a candle and sing the anti-fascist song Bella Ciao - "the universal song of the Resistance" - from their balconies at 18.00.

The call, issued by 50 different organisations including partisan associations, comes with the message: "Rome cannot forget a wound that will never be healed."

The mass killing at Fosse Ardeatine, a former quarry in the Appia Antica area, was in retaliation for a partisan attack on a column of marching German policemen the day before on Via Rasella, near Piazza Barberini in central Rome.

The Nazis decided that ten Italians should be executed for each German, an order soon authorised by Hitler who stipulated that it be carried out within 24 hours.

The Italian president normally attends an annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Fosse Ardeatine mausoleum, however this too will not take place this year, due to the Coronavirus lockdown.

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Address Quartiere XX Ardeatino, 00147 Roma RM, Italy

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Rome sings Bella Ciao to mark anniversary of Fosse Ardeatine massacre

Quartiere XX Ardeatino, 00147 Roma RM, Italy