ANPI calls La Russa’s remarks “shameful”.
On Friday, Italy’s senate speaker Ignazio La Russa criticised the 1944 Rome partisan attack that led to the Fosse Ardeatine massacre, sparking a political scandal.
In a podcast interview with Libero Quotidiano, 75-year-old La Russa commemorated the 79th anniversary of the Fosse Ardeatine massacre, in which the Nazis killed 335 anti-fascist prisoners, Jews, and bystanders.
The massacre was in retribution for the partisan attack on Via Rasella that murdered 33 members of the SS Bozen Police Regiment, or Polizeiregiment Südtirol, a military unit recruited in the ethnic-German Alto Adige area of northeast Italy.
The Via Rasella raid, according to Fratelli d’Italia founder La Russa, was “everything but heroic” in the resistance’s history.
“Those slaughtered were a musical ensemble made up of semi-pensioners, not SS Nazis,” La Russa claimed. “The partisans were well aware of the potential of reprisals on Roman citizens, anti-fascists and non”.
La Russa, who revealed his Mussolini memorabilia in a 2018 viral video, defended Meloni, who last week claimed that the Fosse Ardeatine massacre victims were slain because they were Italians, not anti-fascists.
“La Russa’s statements are utterly unbecoming of the lofty post he holds and reflect yet another extremely severe rupture aimed at absolving fascism and delegitimising the Resistance,” said Gianfranco Pagliarulo, head of Italy’s partisan group ANPI, which commemorates the resistance struggle.
“The third battalion of the Polizeiregiment hit on Via Rasella, as it marched armed to the teeth, was completing its training to go on to fight the Allies and the partisans, as actually happened,” Pagliarulo said. “The other two battalions had long been engaged in Istria and Veneto against the partisans.”
La Russa’s remarks were “indecent, unsuitable for the post he holds,” according to PD leader Elly Schlein.”I applaud the effort with which La Russa is trying to demonstrate every day his incapacity as president of the senate,” tweeted centrist Azione leader Carlo Calenda.