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Museo storico della Liberazione - Roma


On the second floor, the room located to the left of the entrance was once the kitchen, turned into a prison cell, with the window walled up and a well inserted to let the inmate breathe. The room still retains the hood and marble sink. Like in the other cells, no natural light enters the room. When the museum was opened, the window's masonry was half removed in this cell and in the corresponding cell on the floor above to make the work more visible.

This cell was once occupied by lieutenant colonel Giuseppe Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, head of the Clandestine Military Front of the Resistance founded by him in the aftermath of the armistice in order to work straight away with the Allies, so that Italy could do its part in the war between the Germans and the Allies. The Italian people had to redeem themselves after being complicit with the fascists.
He was reported and then arrested on 25 January 1944, and murdered at the Fosse Ardeatine on 24 March 1944. Despite the fierce torture he was subjected to during his detention, Montezemolo never spoke, impressing Kappler himself with his resolve and bravery.
On the left-hand wall there is a showcase with the rope used to tie the wrists of prisoners, and shreds of clothing recovered from the body of the colonel when in July, after the liberation of Rome, the bodies were exhumed. To the left of this case is the certificate sent posthumously to the colonel's widow, recognising his status as Combatant Partisan and Commander-in-chief of the FMCR; to the right is a white cloth used as a flag to go to Frascati and negotiate with Kesselring the surrender of Rome, on the afternoon of 10 September 1943. Beneath the kitchen hood is a panel with the organization chart of the clandestine military front*1. Between the walled-up window and the sink is a part of the wall with graffiti etched by the prisoner, unfortunately now illegible, and the bust of Montezemolo, made by sculptor L. Landi, which striking for the subject's proud gaze. Above the marble sink are two panels, one of which informing about Montezemolo's stay in the cell, the other giving the words of English general Alexander, taken from the letter of condolence to his wife: “No man could have done more or given more to the cause of his country and its allies than he did", bearing witness to the contribution made by the FMCR to the liberation struggle. Below this are two photographs of Montezemolo, one in military uniform, the other, with moustache, from the period of hiding in civilian clothes and the name he took on during the months of struggle: engineer Giacomo Cateratto. The motivation for the gold medal for Military Valour conferred in his memory is on display above the sink. On the right wall is a panel with the names and locations of clandestine military front groups in central Italy.