Stazione di Milano Greco Pirelli

Where three partisan railwaymen were shot on 15th July 1944 after a sabotage.

Up until 1923, Greco was an independent municipality. Once it became part of Milan’s urban fabric, it became known as a railway hub from which all the railway rings surrounding Milan would pass and then proceed in every possible direction. During the nazi domination, Greco station was strategically very important, also because that was were all the most important repair shops of Northern Italy were located, and thus the SS stood constant guard.

Here is where, during winter 1943-44, 300,000 tons of goods heading to Germany would pass, a further evidence of the complete subjugation of Italy’s industrial system to the Wehrmacht’s war needs. The nazis tried to camouflage the buildings by painting them in green and yellow to protect them from Allied bombings.

The reason why so many sabotage operations by the Resistance focused mainly on railroads is self-evident: to reduce the exploitation of our industrial assets and to free the prisoners heading towards concentration camps. More than 5,500 sabotage operations took place in Northern Italy, and hundreds of locomotives, wagons and bridges were destroyed.

On 25th June 1944, the partisans attacked the station of Milano Greco and the repair garage, with multiple explosions destroying seven German locomotives and an important fuel depot.

In retaliation, the Germans executed Ettore Muti, three railwaymen, Antonio Colombi, Carlo Mariani and Siro Mazzetti who were not responsible for the attack itself but, according to the«Corriere della Sera» of the 16th July 1944 run by Germany, “they distributed communist flyers and propaganda urging the people to kill and sabotage… and thus were as guilty as those responsible for it. Since they shared the same ideas, they also share the same responsibility”.

On 23rd April 1945, the partisans seize the supplies depot of the station after disarming the fascist guards. On the 24th, the railwaymen of Greco helped the workers of the nearby Pirelli company, trying to save it from being destroyed. On the 26th, they stopped a cargo train destined to Germany, hijacked it and took it to Corsico.

Today, the old station of Milano Greco does not exist anymore, it’s been replaced by the new station Greco-Pirelli. It is alive, however, in the memory of those who fought to save our country.


Guido Lorenzetti