Resistance in Maranello

Maranello gave an important contribution to the resistance during the Partisan struggle and the aftermath of the Armistice of 1943.

On 8 September 1943, near Maranello, near “La Borga” Fogliano, everyone was dancing and singing that the war had ended. Or at least, that’s what you would have thought. They were all happy, except a farmer who was standing in a corner, frowning. He took the floor and pointed out that the war was not over, because now the enemy was in Italy. In that moment of joy his words sounded strange and incongruous. He was rough, unkept, what did he know? The day after the facts proved him right.

Less than 24 hours later, German soldiers burst into Via Veneto schools, where the Italian soldiers were stationed. Some managed to escape out the back, including Mario Ricci of Pavullo, who would become the partisan Commander Armando. Others were crammed into the courtyard of the Corona Hotel in Via Claudia, where the Germans shot them. Some escaped even from there, through the houses, thanks to the help of pharmacist Gastone Caselli and the barber Bruno Gibellini. The resistance had started in Maranello.

Whoever escaped reached Rio Grizzaga and moved along the road to the hills to join the partisans. Those who remained managed to find work at the Riziero Soragni construction company or at Ferrari who, while producing war machines, hid partisans’ weapons under the factory roof. In the Maranello area, key centres were soon developing to help the partisan struggle. Among them, Casa Chierici and Casa Cavani in Torre Maina, and the house of Giuseppe Gagliardelli in Pozza, frequented by white partisans like Luigi “Lino” Paganelli and Ermanno “Claudio” Gorrieri.

Forged documents were also made in Maranello. Those who wanted to enlist as partisans needed a new identity card. Giulio Montorsi devised a ruse to bring a camera to Casa Taddeo, a partisan rallying point, and take the necessary photos. He had a galvanized bucket with a double bottom to hide the camera which was carried by brave photographer Dante Beltrami.

The history of the Maranello resistance continued with the winding down of the war, and saw 25 killed. Most of these, including Bruno Valentini, Luciano Manni, William Lodi and Mario Franchini, lost their lives in the bloody battle of Benedello on 5 November 1944.

 

 

Bibliography

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello, dal Feudo Calcagnini… alla Scuderia Ferrari”, Artioli Editore, 2004

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello, 1860… da Libero Comune a laboriosa città”, Artioli Editore, 2011