Caruso Pietro

Publié le par Mémoires de Guerre

Pietro Caruso (born 10 November 1899 in Maddaloni – died 22 September 1944 in Rome) was an Italian Fascist and head of the Italian police during the final part of World War II.

Caruso Pietro


Together with Herbert Kappler, the German Gestapo chief in Rome, Caruso organised the massacre in Fosse Ardeatine on 24 March 1944 as revenge for an attack the day before by Italian partisans on a column of German soldiers in Rome. 335 people, many of them belonging to a Communist military resistance group, were shot during the massacre. One of the victims, Maurizio Giglio, had been one of Caruso's own lieutenants, but had been arrested seven days earlier as a secret agent working for the Allies through OSS.

After Italy's liberation from the German occupation, Caruso was tried for his numerous crimes, sentenced to death on 21 September 1944 and executed by a firing squad of Polizia di Stato in the courtyard of the Fort Bravetta in Rome. The high court of justice also condemned Roberto Occhietto, Caruso's secretary and co-defendant, to 30 years’ imprisonment on the same collaboration charge.

The eight-man high court, presided over by judge Lorenzo Maroni, heard prosecutor Mario Berlinguer characterize the two defendants as “wild beasts” and the verdicts were delivered after two hours’ deliberation. Caruso, sentenced to be shot in the back, turned pale as Maroni announced the verdict.

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