March 25, 2011
On March 24, 1944, occupying Nazi troops in Rome marched 335 Italians to
this site where they were executed. Hitler ordered that 10 Italians be
killed for every German police officer that died from a bomb blast set off by
In the past, Pope Paul VI and John Paul II have paid their respects at the Fosse Ardeatine site to honor the memory of those killed. And now, in recognition of the 67th anniversary of the massacre, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the site located on the outskirts of Rome.
Today one can still see the graves of the Italians that were killed. Many of them were ordinary citizens or prisoners of war, who were rounded up by Nazi forces for execution.
Among the 335 killed, 75 were Jews, which has made the Fosse Ardeatine a site for Christian and Jewish pilgrims alike.
It has become a national monument that attracts daily visitors and reminds them of the role played by the Italian resistance movement in WWII.