HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF THE LIBERATION OF ROME
( MUSEO STORICO DELLA LIBERAZIONE DI ROMA )
The Museum is located in a nondescript building behind St. John’s Basilica, in Via Tasso.
lt was once the seat of the cultural office of the German Embassy in Rome, the headquarters of the SS Kommandateur which were led by the unfortunately well-known Herbert Keppler were established here following the 8th of September 1943.
He transformed the house into a prison in January 1944, he blocked every opening by walling them up: the rooms, kitchens and closets which were walled-up then became the scenes of the brutal interrogations,torture and imprisonment of some of the most important figures of the Roman Resistance.
In 1957 those same rooms became a Museum to remember that tragic period of occupation and the Nazi madness through the collection of the testimonies of the life and deaths of those who were victims of the violence in those years.
The establishment of the museum was made by possible by the donation which Mrs. Josepha Ruspoli inBrazzà il of four apartments to the Italian state.
She did not want the community to forget the lives lost in the name of freedom.
Thus unfolding along the three floors of the prisons are the dramatic records of the persecution against the Jewsand the underground struggle (bans and anti-Jewish orders, manifestos and handbills of the resistance inciting the fight, material on prisoners and those who died in the war from the archives of the Gestapo) with rooms dedicated in particular to the slaughters of the Fosse Ardeatine (in fact some of the 335 victims were taken from the prisons of Via Tasso) with the tragic finds consisting in pieces of rope and fragments of fabric found on the bodies of Forte Bravetta where seventy-seven freedom fighters were shot dead and fromLa Storta whose victims also included Bruno Buozzi.
The rich graphical and photographic documentation goes back over the main historical events that occurred inRome between the fall of Fascism and the armistice, illustrating then the defence of Rome between 8 and 11 September 1943 and the formation on an impulse of colonel Giuseppe Montezemolo of the UndergroundMilitary Front; the memories of the protagonists of that time of fighting come back to life not only through images of the time but can also be touched by hand in this unique museum of “history lived” thanks to the persistence in their integrity of some cells bearing writings in pencil on the plaster and graffiti produced with makeshift means that reflect touching messages of life and freedom often written by prisoners nearing death.
The rooms are loaded with history and maintain a certain emotional hold, yet they also feature curiosities and souvenirs connected with the underground struggle such as the three-point nails used by the partisans against German vehicles.
Information and Addresses
Address Via Tasso, 145
Visiting Hours Tuesday to Sunday 9.30 am – 12.30 am. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday also 4.00 am -7-00 pm. April 25 guided tours every hour from 9-30 am to no pm
Closed Nov. 1-2, Christmas and Easter holidays, May 1, August Telephone 06 7003866; Fax 06 77203514
Price Free admission