Massacre at the Castle

After the signing of the armistice on September 8, 1943, where Italy surrendered to the Allied forces, the Italian Social Republic-RSI was founded in the north, which was under Nazi occupation. In Ferrara, persecutions and arrests multiplied, targeting anti-fascists and Jews.

On November 13, 1943, Igino Ghisellini, a federalist (a senior fascist leader) from Ferrara, was murdered near Bologna. The news reached Verona where the first congress of the fascist republican party was underway. Some fascist squads set off for Ferrara to take revenge, reaching the city towards evening. The fascists organized raids that quickly rounded up 72 citizens, and locked them in the Littorio barracks in Piazza Fausto Beretta. From this group and from the Jews and anti-fascists already jailed in the prisons of via Piangipane, 10 people were selected for execution to avenge the death of Ghisellini.

At dawn on November 15th, Emilio Arlotti, Pasquale Colagrande, Mario and Vittore Hanau, Giulio Piazzi, Ugo Teglio, Alberto Vita Finzi and Mario Zanatta were shot in front of the wall of the Estense Castle. The bodies were left outside the wall all morning, a warning to the people of Ferrara.

Mario Capuzzo, The massacre of the estense castle, donated by Sonia Longhi.