Desperate Inscriptions: Graffiti from the Nazi Prison in Rome 1943-1944

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9781884419577: Desperate Inscriptions: Graffiti from the Nazi Prison in Rome 1943-1944
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Cultural Writing. Graffiti. The former SS and Gestapo headquarters in Rome is today an eerily quiet place. The silence is broken only when school children visit. Tucked away on Via Tasso in a middle-class district in the Eternal City--a stone's throw from the Basilica of St. John in Lateran--the former prison is now the Museo Storico della Liberazione di Roma, commemorating the liberation of Rome by Resistance fighters and Allied troops in June 1944. Within, anti-fascist partisans scrawled graffiti full of pathos and the romantic idealism that so permeated the Italian Resistance. A visitor today can still read the desperate inscriptions, collected in this volume along with recollections by inmates and narratives concerning the Via Tasso.

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In the slim though insightful Desperate Inscriptions: Graffiti from the Nazi Prison in Rome 1943-1944, Stanislao G. Pugliese, a professor of modern European history at Hofstra University and author of Carlo Rosselli, opens the doors of the former SS and Gestapo headquarters and prison in Rome. Now called the Museo Storico della Liberazione di Roma, the museum commemorates anti-fascists who helped liberate Rome. Pugliese's thoughtful narrative, accompanied by black-and-white photos by Lianna Miuccio, documents the lives of such antifascist prisoners as Arrigo Paladini, who wrote on the wall as he was dying, "There is nothing that can give the joy of a beautiful death as the consciousness of having served the country until the last breath of life."
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