The Ardeatine massacre, or Fosse Ardeatine massacre (Italian: Eccidio delle Fosse Ardeatine) was a mass killing carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for a partisan attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome against the SS Police Regiment Bozen.
Subsequently, the Ardeatine Caves site (Fosse Ardeatine) was declared a Memorial Cemetery and National Monument open daily to visitors. Every year, on the anniversary of the slaughter and in the presence of the senior officials of the Italian Republic, a solemn State commemoration is held at the monument in honor of the fallen. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II each visited the memorial once during their respective reigns, as did Pope Benedict XVI on 27 March 2011.(Wikipedia)