Type to search

Anti-fascist partisan, math prodigy Mario Fiorentini dies at 103


ROME – Mario Fiorentini, one of the few surviving anti-fascist partisans of World War II Italy, passed away on Aug. 12 at age 103. The flag of the National Association of Italian Partisans (A.N.P.I.) draped his coffin. An honor guard consisting of other surviving partisans and smartly uniformed Carabineri were present at his wake in Rome. His group helped to liberate Rome from the Nazis in June of 1944. His late wife, Lucia Ottobrini, fought alongside him and was present at the liberation of Rome. She passed away in 2015.

Mr. Fiorentini, whose father was Jewish, was a math prodigy and loved to teach mathematics. Originally a member of a partisan group in Bologna, he became involved with units throughout northern and central Italy when the Germans took over occupation and defense of that region after the collapse of the fascist regime.

Mr. Fiorentini was honored with the Donovan Medal by the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the C.I.A., as well as the British Special Forces Medal. Fellow partisan Iole Mancini wrote a book about her experiences in fighting alongside Mr. Fiorentini in the resistance, while mathe-matician and numbers theory specialist Paulo Ribenboim has collected Mr. Fiorentini’s vast output of mathematical papers. Mr. Fiorentini lived with his grandson, Suriel Capodacqua, for the last 26 years of his life.

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

Keep a pulse on local food, art, and entertainment content when you join our Italian-American Herald Newsletter.