Sergio Kasman

18.09.1920 - 09.12.1944
Sergio Kasman © AILSREC, Fondo DV, Busta 7, Fascicolo 11

Sergio Kasman played a crucial part in the resistance, contributing to the liberation of political prisoners. His involvement in the resistance, connected with Giuseppe Bacciagaluppi’s leadership, formed a strong partnership. When Bacciagaluppi was arrested, Kasman helped him out, showing their close friendship within the resistance group. 

Giuseppe (Nino) Bacciagaluppi, born in Milan in 1905. He studied engineering at Milan Polytechnic and found a job as an engineer in a telephone equipment factory in Milan.  

Giuseppe came from an anti-fascist family and joined the resistance after the Nazis occupied northern Italy on 8 September 1943. The same choice was made by Sergio Kasman, son of a Russian musician and an Italian mother, who was called up for military service at the time of the armistice and decided to take refuge in the Ligurian mountains. It was here that he began his activities as a partisan and he met Nino. 

Ferruccio Parri entrusted Nino with the task of organising the expatriation of former Allied prisoners of war and Sergio worked closely with him under the battle name of Marco. Nino became the head of the intelligence service of the resistance movement and helped escaped Allied soldiers in Milan. He organised border crossings and kept in contact with Italian resistance and Allied commanders. He also organised transits from Milan, took care of collecting funds, clothing, medicines, weapons, food and false documents.  

After a few months Nino was betrayed and on 4 April 1944 he was arrested and sent to San Vittore prison where he was questioned by the Nazis. Sergio then succeeded him as head of the service. Nino knew that one of his fellow resistance members had already fled to Switzerland, so he gave his name to the Nazis to make them believe he was willing to collaborate. This bought him some time and allowed other members of the resistance – including Sergio – to eventually liberate him and several other prisoners from the San Vittore prison.  

Giuseppe managed to flee to Switzerland where his wife and son had already arrived and here he established close contacts with the Allied commands. He was arrested in Switzerland for engaging in political activity forbidden to refugees. He managed to escape again and via France and Rome he reached the liberated city of Milan in 1945.  

Meanwhile, Sergio had been appointed by Ferruccio Parri as Chief of Staff of the Milan Square Command. His activity was very varied: he organised the information and operations services of the Command and participated in the drafting of an insurrection plan for Milan. Parri wrote: “Marco’s job was terribly difficult and uncovered and risky”. Arrested twice, he was later killed in an ambush by the fascists in December 1944. He was awarded the gold medal of Remembrance.