Italy Sacrario dei Partigiani

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
To the west of the Piazza del Nettuno, you will find a wall featuring photos of hundreds of partisans who fought for the Resistance in WWII. Of the 14,425 local partisans, 2,059 of them were killed by Nazi and fascist forces.

Bologna was greatly affected by WWII, due to its communication/transportation system and its proximity to the Gothic Line. Between September 1943 and April 1945, the city was occupied by the Nazis. Suffering from cold and hunger, the city became a strong center of the Italian resistance movement.

Italy was liberated from Nazi domination on April 21, 1945. During the war Bologna was devastated by aerial bombing. The first bombardment of Bologna took place July 1943. The bombing continued until April 1945. Some 2,000+ civilians died during the bombing raids and over 40% of the buildings in the historic center were damaged.

The memorial began shortly after liberation when family members of those hanged and shot in the square began putting up photos of the dead. After a fire destroyed two-thirds of the reliquary, a more permanent solution was created. The memorial bears the names and photos of fallen partisans.

The plaque reads: To the children, women and men of every race and nation who were savagely killed by the Nazi ferocity in extermination camps, the municipality and province of Bologna dedicate this memorial of mourning and gratitude so that the cause for which they died may be present and admonitory in the supreme struggles of human freedom for the independence of peoples for the advent of a more just society in the peaceful union of all peoples.

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