Four days of Naples: Wikis


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For the film set during this event, see The Four Days of Naples.
Four Days of Naples
Quattro giornate di Napoli
Part of Italian Campaign (World War II)
Date 27-30 September 1943
Location Naples, Italy
Result Liberation of Naples from German occupation
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg People of Naples Germany Germany
Germany Hans Scholl
est 30,000+ 8,000

The Four days of Naples (Italian: Quattro giornate di Napoli) refers to the popular uprising in the Italian city of Naples between 27 and 30 September 1943 against the German forces occupying the city during World War II. The occupiers were forced out by the townsfolk and the Italian Resistance before the arrival of the first Allied forces in Naples on 1 October, and for these actions the city was awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor.




Historical background

From 1940 to 1943, Naples suffered heavy Allied bombing raids which caused much damage and heavy losses among the civilian population. It has been calculated that 20,000 of its inhabitants fell victim to these indiscriminate attacks: over 3,000 died in the raid of 4 August 1943 alone, while around 600 were killed and 3,000 injured by the explosion of the ship Caterina Costa in port on 28 March. The city's artistic and cultural heritage also suffered damage, such as the partial destruction of the Basilica di Santa Chiara on 4 December 1942. With the Allied advance in southern Italy, anti-Fascists in the Naples area (including Fausto Nicolini, Claudio Ferri and Adolfo Omodeo) began to establish closer contacts with the Allied commanders and requested Naples' liberation.

From 8 September 1943, the day in which the Cassibile armistice came into force, the Italian Army forces in the area (without orders, as were most of the units at the time) drifted towards Naples. There, things were already difficult thanks to the unceasing bombing raids and the imbalance in forces (20,000 Germans faced only 5,000 Italians in the whole of Campania). The situation in Naples soon turned into chaos, with many higher officials (unable to take the initiative or even directly collaborating with the Nazis) deserting the city, followed by the Italian troops. Those escaping included Riccardo Pentimalli and Ettore Del Tetto, the generals entrusted with military responsibility for Naples, who fled in civilian clothing. Del Tetto's last actions before fleeing had been to hand the city over to the German army and to publish a decree banning assemblies and authorising the military to fire on those who flouted that ban. Even so, sporadic but bloody attempts at resistance arose throughout the Zanzur Barracks, as far as the Carabinieri barracks at Pastrengo and at the 21st "Centro di Avvistamento" (Early Detection Post) of Castel dell'Ovo.


In the days following the armistice the episodes of intolerance and armed resistance towards the German occupiers in Naples intensified, more or less organized, including the 1 September student demonstration in Piazza del Plebiscito and the first meeting of the Liceo Sannazaro at Vomero.

On 9 September some citizens met with German troops at Palazzo dei Telefoni, managing to escape, and in Via Santa Brigida. This latter episode saw involved a Carabiniere who opened fire to defend a shop from German soldiers attempting to loote it.

On 10 September, between Piazza del Plebiscito and the gardens below, the first bloody clash occurred, with the Neapolitans succeeding in blocking the path to some German motor vehicles; in these fights three German sailors and three German soldiers died. The occupiers managed to free some of those imprisoned by the rioters thanks to an injunction by an Italian official, who summoned his countrymen to surrender some of their hostages and all their weapons. The retaliation for the Piazza del Plebiscito clashes came quickly: the Germans set fire to the National Library and opened fire on the crowd that gathered there.

On 12 September numerous soldiers were killed on the streets of Naples, whilst about 4,000 Italian soldiers and civilians were deported for the "obligatory work". An announcement of the prefect on 22 September decreed compulsory labour for all men from 18 to 33 years of age and set their forced deportation to work camps in northern Italy and Germany. The population refused to collaborate and rose up.

State of siege

The same day, Colonel Hans Scholl assumed command of the military occupiers in the city, declared a curfew and declared a state of siege with orders to pass through the arms all those who were responsible for actions hostile to the troops Germany, at the rate of one hundred Napolitain possibly for every German killed.

Proclaims the following appeared on the walls of the city on Monday September 13:

  1. With immediate action, from today I assume the absolute control with full powers of the city of Naples and the surrounding areas.
  2. Every single citizen who will lead a calm behaviour will enjoy my protection. Instead, anyone who will be subtly or openly acting against the German armed forces will be executed. Moreover, the misfit place and its immediate surroundings will be destroyed and reduced to ruins. Every German soldier injured or murdered will be revenged a hundred times.
  3. I order a curfew from 20 PM to 6 am. Only in case of alarm it will be possible using the road to reach the nearest shelter.
  4. A state of siege is proclaimed.
  5. Within 24 hours all the weapons and ammunition of any kind, including shotguns, hand grenades, etc., must be surrendered. Anyone who, after that period, will be found in possession of a weapon will be immediately executed. The delivery of weapons and ammunition shall be made to the German military patrols.
  6. People must keep calm and act reasonably.

These orders and the already executed reprisals have been necessary because of the large number of German soldiers and officers who were vily murdered or seriously injured while fulfilling their duties, indeed, in some cases, the injured even insulted and abused in a manner unworthy of a civil population.

The orders were followed by the shooting of eight prisoners of war in via Cesario Console, while a tank opened fire against students (who were beginning to gather in the nearby University) and several Italian sailors in front of the stock market.

On the stairs of the headquarters was the execution of a young sailor, where thousands of people were forced to attend the German troops that led to power them on Rettifilo, the street in front of the place they were shot. Five hundred people, the same day were also conducted with the power to Teverola in Casertano, and forced to watch the firing squad of 14 policemen, "guilty" of having resisted with arms the occupier before the Nazi surrender.

The seeds of rebellion

Now the anger and exasperation of Naples, following the indiscriminate executions, the looting, the roundups of the civilian population, poverty and destruction of the war that put the knee in the whole city, was mounting spontaneously, without an external organization that if only the desire to rid dell'invasore German. We began to think of weapons procurement: the September 22 the inhabitants of Vomero managed to capture the ones that had belonged to the second battery 107 and the September 25 250 muskets were taken from a school, the September 27 fell into the hands of insurgents some deposits arms and ammunition. On September 23 the meantime, a new repressive measures adopted by Colonel Scholl provided for the evacuation (within 20 hours on the same day) of the entire coastal town to a distance of 300 meters from the sea, in practice approximately 240,000 people were forced to abandon in a few hours from their homes to allow the creation of a "military security zone" that seemed to prelude to the destruction of the port. Almost simultaneously, a manifesto called the prefect of the call to work compulsory for all males between the ages of eighteen and thirty years, in practice a forced deportation to labor camps in Germany. The outcome hoped for by the Nazis was not obtained, however, responded to the call only 150 Napolitain on planned 30,000, which brought Scholl's decision to send soldiers to patrol the city for the roundups and the immediate execution of the breach. It was displayed in a new city proclamation of the German Military Command. "In order for the service required of respondents work in four sections of the city of about 150 people, while according to marital status were to arise over 30,000 people. This results in the sabotage that is practiced against the orders of the Armed Forces Germaniche and the Italian Ministry of Interior. Starting from tomorrow, through military patrols, I will stop the breach. Those who are not presenting themselves contravene the orders published by the patrols will be immediately shot.

Captain of Naples, Scholl » The popular uprising was inevitable then, people were asked to choose between survival and death or forced deportation to Germany and now spontaneously in every part of the city, people of all walks of life and every occupation, were pouring into the streets to organize themselves and embrace their weapons. Joined many of them Italian soldiers that only a few days before we were due to the stain. Since September 26 an unarmed crowd screaming and was released against the Nazi roundups, freeing young people for deportation.

The four days

September 27

On September 27, after a large haul of Germans seized in various parts of the city about 8,000 men, 400, perhaps 500 armed men opened the fighting. One of the first sparks of the fight broke out at the quarter Vomero where, in Pagliarone, a group of armed men stopped a car and killed the German Field Marshal who was driving. During the day, fierce fighting one another in different areas of the city between the insurgents and the German soldiers who were now to begin evacuation operations, including the news (later proved to be false) about an imminent Allied landing at Bagnoli. A lieutenant of the Italian, Enzo Stimulus, having placed in charge of a group of 200 insurgents, he distinguished himself particularly in the assault all'armeria of Castel Sant'Elmo that fell only in the evening, not without bloodshed; Indeed, the Germans, asserragliati, among others, both within the Villa Floridiana both the Campo Sportivo Series (in the heart of the Vomero), intervened in force to give battle. A group of people headed in the same hours to the Bosco di Capodimonte, where, according to some voices that were circulating in the city, the Germans were conducting some prisoners to death, was developed as a plan to prevent a group of Germans to undermine guastatori the Bridge of Health for the interruption of connections with the center of the city, which was successfully implemented the next day by a squad of sailors. In the evening, they were attacked and plundered the stores of weapons to barracks via Foria and Via San Giovanni a Carbonara.

September 28

On September 28, going to increase over time the number of citizens who joined Napolitain the first fighters, the fighting intensified, in the district Materdei a German patrol, rifugiatasi in one calendar year, was surrounded and kept under siege for hours, until the arrival of reinforcements at the end Napoletani three lost their lives. A Porta Capuana a group of forty men settled, with rifles and machine guns, in a sort of post block, killing 6 enemy soldiers and capturing four others, while fighting was started in other parts of the city as Male Angioino, the vast and Monteoliveto. The Germans procedettero other raids, this time to the Vomero, many prisoners crowded inside the stadium series, which unleashed the reaction of the people of Stimulus gave the assault to the sports field, resulting, after having faced an initial reaction army, the liberation of prisoners, the next day.

September 29

On the third day of fierce clashes in the streets of Naples, the organization dell'insurrezione was still left to individual capipopolo neighborhood, in the absence of all contacts with the forces of structured 'antifascism as the Front National (direct emanation of CLN). Were local figures emerging, meanwhile, who took command of operations in various districts of the city, as the professor Antonio Tarsia in Curia to the Vomero, the lieutenant colonel Bonomi to Salvator Rosa, the captain Francesco Cibarelli the Duomo, the captain Mario Orbitello a Montecalvario, the Captain Stefano Fadda a doctor Chiaia, the employee Tito Murolo to Vasto, while among the youth was noted Adolfo Pansini [4], high school student vomerese Sannazaro. Cook in the district, the Germans attacked in force with tanks (the Panzer "Tiger") and not more than fifty rebels tried strenuously to object but had to suffer the heaviest budget of 12 dead and over 15 injured. The worker district of Ponticelli was a heavy bombardment, after which the German troops procedettero to indiscriminate massacres of the population from penetrating inside civilian homes. Other fighting came close to the 'airport of Capodichino and Ottocalli Square, where three airmen died in Italy. In the same hours, at the German headquarters at Corso Vittorio Emanuele (among other things repeatedly attacked by insurgents) was negotiation between the colonel and lieutenant Scholl Stimulus for the return of prisoners of the necklace; Scholl got to have free passage for get out of Naples, in exchange for the release of the hostages who were still prisoners in the sports field. For the first time in Europe, the Germans made a deal in front of the insurgents.

September 30

While the German troops had already begun the evacuation of the city for the arrival of Anglo-American forces from Nocera Inferiore, in the city is self Tarsia professor at the School Sannazaro, head of the rebels taking full powers civil and military, and giving, among other things, provisions regarding the precise opening hours for shops and discipline. But the fighting died down and not guns that the Germans garrisoned the heights of Capodimonte hit all day, the area between Port'Alba and Piazza Mazzini. Also there were still fighting in the area of Porta Capuana. Routed the invaders left behind them a fire and carnage, was the sensational event's Historical Archive of Naples, which was set alight at San Paolo Belsito, causing incalculable damage to historical and artistic heritage.

Naples freed

On October 1 at 9:30 of the first Allied tanks entered the city, while at the end of the day, the German command in Italy, to the mouth of Marshal Albert Kesselring, considered the retreat concluded with success. The budget of the terrible battles of the four days of Naples is not harmonious in the figures, according to some authors, seventy-six in hours of fighting, killed 170 supporters and 150 unarmed citizens, according to the Ministerial Commission for the recognition of the victims were partisan, but 155 from the registers of Cemetery Poggioreale would be 562 deaths. It should be noted that most of the fighting there were only between Italians and Germans. Unlike other episodes of resistance were in fact relatively rare clashes with Italian fascists, who probably had not had time to reorganize effectively after September 8 (note that the Social Republic was proclaimed September 23, that is only four days before the outbreak of the revolt). Making a budget, over the very important moral and political result dell'insurrezione, the Four Days of Naples had undoubtedly the merit of preventing the Germans could organize a resistance in the city or that, as Hitler said, were reduced Naples' in ash and mud before they were withdrawn. Was also prevented the plan for mass deportations organized by Scholl had happened. This resulted not only through the officially recognized 1500 fighters, but also for civil resistance and non-violent Napolitain many, including priests and youth workers, "scugnizzo 'and professors, doctors and firefighters," goliardia and unemployed . A few months later, on December 22, the generals Pentimalli and roof, which had abandoned the city in the hands of the Germans after 8 September, were sentenced by the High Court of Justice to 20 years in military prison, after conviction reduced to Condoni grace and measures [5]. Even Tilena Domenico, who had governed the federation fascist town during the riots was sentenced to 6 years and 8 months.


Four days of Naples was also an alternative to the current one, which aims to highlight the nature of "civil resistance and popular and practical and noble example of" social defense and non-violent "(they were widely used techniques not violent as the non-cooperation, the boycott, the sabotage, denial of the militarization of civilian life and the creation of parallel bodies), through which an entire city was able to free himself, alone, from the Nazi yoke [6].

Monuments and medals


To the memory of the four days of Naples, was given the homonymous piazza Four Days, in the district Vomero, next to the stadium series, now the headquarters of the station Cilea - Four days of Line 1 of the Subway in Naples, formerly of the theater most of the dell'insurrezione clashes. Commemorative plaques are found in Belvedere, always Vomero, and at the entrance to the Palazzo della Borsa in Piazza Bovio. A monument 'to scugnizzo' symbol dell'insurrezione figure rises instead the Riviera di Chiaia, in Piazza della Repubblica. The monument was designed by sculptor Marino Mazzacurati in 1963, and consists of a stone statue that depicts the scugnizzo on each of the four sides of the sculpture.


These are the decorations awarded in the postwar period to the heroism of the city and its inhabitants:

Gold Medal for Military Valor for the city of Naples

The city was awarded the gold medal in military valor, for the following reasons [7]: "With superb patriotic zeal could find in the midst of the grief and ruins, the strength to hunt from the ground Parthenopean the Germanic soldatesche defying the fierce inhuman reprisals. Committed un'impari fight with the enemy offered to the secular nation, in "Four Days" at the end of September 1943, many elected children. With her glorious example additives at all Italians, the way to freedom, justice, the salvation of the Fatherland. Napoli, 27 - 30 September 1943 Conferral of gold medal for military valor at the city of Naples (10 September 1944)

Gold Medals (posthumous)

  • Gennaro Capuozzo (12 years) [8]
  • Filippo Illuminati (13 years)
  • Pasquale Formisano (17 years)
  • Mario Menechini (18 years)

Silver Medals

  • Giuseppe Maenza (posthumous)
  • Giacomo Lettieri (posthumous)
  • Antonino Tarsia in Curia
  • Stefano Fadda
  • Ezio Murolo
  • Giuseppe Sances
  • Francesco Pintore

Bronze Medals

  • Maddalena Cerasuolo
  • Domenico Scognamiglio
  • Ciro Vasaturo

In popular culture


The historical episode of the Naples rebellion was recalled in the ending of Luigi Comencini's film Everybody Go Home (1960) and in Nanni Loy's 1962 film The Four Days of Naples (with the latter nominated for Oscars for best foreign film and best screenplay).


"Liberta`: omaggio alle Quattro Giornate di Napoli" by Giovanni D'Angelo was a prose opera on the German occupation of Naples.

Notes and references




  • Corrado Barbagallo, Napoli contro il terrore nazista, Casa ed. Maone, Napoli
  • G. G. Schettini, Le barricate di Napoli, Tipografia Artigianelli, Napoli, 1943
  • Nino Aversa, Napoli sotto il terrore tedesco, Le Quattro Giornate, Napoli, 1943
  • Aldo De Jaco, La citta` insorge: le quattro giornate di Napoli, Editori Riuniti, Roma, 1946
  • Luigi Longo, Un popolo alla macchia, Mondadori, Milano, 1947
  • Antonino Tarsia In Curia, La verita` sulle quattro giornate di Napoli, Genovese, Napoli, 1950 ISBN 88-7104-735-4
  • Antonino Tarsia In Curia, Napoli negli anni di guerra, Istituto della Stampa, Napoli, 1954, Einaudi, Torino, 1954
  • Roberto Battaglia, Storia della Resistenza italiana: (8 settembre 1943 - 25 aprile 1945),
  • Corrado Barbagallo, Napoli contro il terrore nazista, Maone, Napoli, 1954
  • Giovanni Artieri (a cura di), Le Quattro giornate. Scritti e testimonianze, Marotta, Napoli, 1963
  • Aldo Secchia, Cronistoria del 25 aprile 1945, Feltrinelli, Milano, 1973
  • Franco Grassi, in Il Mattino del 14 gennaio 1973
  • Storia Illustrata - Napoli: 4 giorni sulle barricate, n. 311, 4 ottobre 1983
  • Vittorio Gleijeses, La Storia di Napoli, Edizioni del Giglio, Napoli, 1987
  • Giorgio Bocca, Il Provinciale, Mondadori, Milano, 1993, ISBN 88-04-37419-5
  • Enzo Erra, Napoli 1943. Le Quattro Giornate che non ci furono, Longanesi, Milano, 1993, ISBN 88-304-1163-9
  • Ermes Ferraro, La resistenza napoletana e le 'quattro giornate', in: AA.VV., Una strategia di pace: la Difesa Popolare Nonviolenta (a cura di Antonino Drago e Gino Stefani), Bologna, fuoriTHEMA, 1993 (pp.89–95)
  • Ermes Ferraro, Le trenta giornate di Napoli , in: La lotta non-armata nella resistenza (atti del convegno tenuto a Roma il 25.10.1993), Roma, Centro Studi Difesa Civile (quaderno n.1 - pp.52.57)
  • Giorgio Bocca, Storia dell'Italia partigiana. Settembre 1943-Maggio 1945, Mondadori, Milano, 1995, ISBN 88-420-0142-2
  • Arrigo Petacco, La nostra guerra, Mondadori, Milano, 1996, ISBN 88-044-1325-5
  • Montanelli - Cervi, L'Italia della disfatta, RCS, 1996
  • Aldo De Jaco, Napoli, settembre 1943. Dal fascismo alla Repubblica, Vittorio Pironti Editore, Napoli, 1998
  • Renato Caserta, Ai due lati della Barricata. La Resistenza a Napoli e le Quattro Giornate, Arte Tipografica, 2003
  • Anna Chiapponi, Le quattro giornate di Napoli, Pontegobbo, Castel San Giovanni, 2003, ISBN 88-867-5458-2
  • Gabriella Gribaudi, Guerra totale. Tra bombe alleate e violenze naziste. Napoli e il fronte meridionale 1940-1944, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2005

External links


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