Italian Communist Party 1944
Source: L'Unita, April 3, 1944;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor.
On March 23, 1944, on the Via Rasella in Roma, the Resistance attacked a column of SS. The attack was a success, killing 32 of the occupiers. Nazi vengeance was swift and brutal: ten Italians were to be executed for each German killed. And so on March 24, at the Ardeatine Caves, the executions were carried out. Jews, Communists, Partisans and Catholics were killed and their bodies sealed up in the caves.
An unspeakable crime has been committed in your capital. Under pretext of a reprisal for an act of war by Italian patriots, in which they lost 32 of their SS, the enemy has massacred 320 innocents, snatching them from the prisons where they languished for months. Men guilty of nothing but loving the Fatherland, — but none of whom had any part, direct or indirect, in the act — they were killed March 24, 1944 without any form of trial, without religious assistance or comfort from their families. They were not judged, but assassinated.
Rome is horrified by this unexampled massacre. It rises up in the name of humanity and condemns to execration the assassins and their accomplices and allies. But Rome will be avenged. The slaughter that occurred within its walls is an extreme reaction on the part of the wounded beast that feels its fall is near. The armed forces of all the free peoples are on the march on all continents to deal it its final blow. When the beast will have been killed and Rome secured from any return of barbarism it will celebrate its liberation at the tomb of its martyrs.
The blood of the martyrs cannot have been spilled in vain. From the cave where the bodies of 320 Italians, — of every class, of every political belief — lie eternally together as brothers in sacrifice, arises a solemn call to all of you:
ALL FOR THE LIBERATION OF THE FATHERLAND FROM THE NAZI INVADER!
ALL FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF AN ITALY WORTHY OF ITS FALLEN SONS!
Rome, March 28, 1944
The Central Committee of National Liberation