Exhibition Itinerary - Second Floor
We are here in the real prison: the place looks as the Germans left it even in the details.The same wallpaper, the same walled windows, the same grilles on the doors of the various cells, the same electrical system. Today we add the direct testimony of those who within these walls have suffered, waiting for their death.
It’s the largest room of the apartment and therefore a cell that saw the passage of many prisoners, including many of the victims of the massacre at the Fosse Ardeatine. For these reasons we wanted to remember here the 335 Italians who were killed, on March 24, 1944, as German retaliation for the attack of Via Rasella. Photographs of the fallen and honoured with gold and silver medals for Military Valour are exhibited. Photos of other fighters who have fallen in this massacre are here to find as well.
It’s the isolation cell that, together with that of the upper floor, is perhaps one of the most significant and moving places of this "museum." These two rooms were the only corners around the prison without wallpaper, in the contrary they had plastered surfaces. More important aspect is that here prisoners were segregated individually. Those persons, after returning from the interrogation, alone with their fears and their tormented pain, engraved on the wall, painfully, with nails or finger nails, prayers, literary memories, trying to maintain the sense of time passing, words of comfort for those who remained, important warnings for those who would continue the fight, the last will in the expectation of death to which many were sentenced.
In this cell are remembered those who were shot, in the months of the occupation, in Forte Bravetta, one of the most tragic places for the roman Resistance, where (more or less) summary legal proceedings took place for many of those fought for freedom.
It is mentioned here the last tragic massacre perpetrated by the fleeing Germans: on the 14th km of the Via Cassia 14 prisoners – started from Via Tasso and directed to the north together with the german SS, were killed with a series of gunshots while few hours later the allies will liberate Rome. Among the martyrs, the Hon. Bruno Buozzi, detained in this prison under the pseudonym of Mario Alberti.
It was originally a small kitchen, then it was turned into an isolation cell. The colonel Del Genio Giuseppe Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, head of the Clandestine Military Front and fallen at the Fosse Ardeatine, was here detained. Here it is also kept the rough white flag that on 10th September served to him and other officers to cross the German lines, on Tuscolana, in order to meet the Marshal Kesselring and tackle with him the question of granting in Rome the open city status.