Ethiopian prisoners of war during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War

During the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, the Italians captured and either imprisoned as prisoners of war or executed selected prominent Ethiopians. The majority of the public executions and mass incarcerations happened in the wake of the assassination attempt on Rodolfo Graziani. The Italian occupying force gave permission to the black shirts to murder educated Ethiopians, sparing only a few notables who were transported to various concentration camps maintained in the Harar region, Italian Somaliland, Eritrea and Italy. While the majority of prisoners who were kept at Asinara and other camps in Italy survived, tens of thousands of detainees perished under the severe conditions they were forced to live in. According to famous survivors like Ambassador Imru Zeleke,[1] conditions were worse in Italian Somaliland camps due to the scarcity of food, water and medicine. According to Imru Zeleke, tens of thousands of Ethiopians died every year.

Princess Romanework Haile Selassie, Emperor Haile Selassie's daughter and the wife of Dejazmatch Beyene Merid, would later contract tuberculosis and was transferred to Ospedale Maggiore in Turin from Asinara, where she died on 14 October 1940. She was the only child of the Emperor who was captured.

Asinara prison camp[edit]

It is virtually impossible to find out the exact number of Ethiopian POWs who were imprisoned at different camps.[citation needed] The Asinara prison camp is an exception, due to its location in Europe and due to the personalities of the incarcerated individuals, the identities of many of the POWs and their approximate number became available through the years from people who kept records of their experiences in captivity.[2] According to the book "Etsub Dinq" written in Amharic by Balemberas Mahateme Selassie Wolde Meskel who was one of the prisoners at Asinara, the total number of prisoners was well over 400. He came up with names of close to 279 notables he remembered. Ras Imru Haile Selassie spent a few months at Asinara and later transferred to another detention camp where Ras Seyoum Mengesha was kept before the former's repatriation by the orders of Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta, the Viceroy and Governor General of Italian East Africa. Ambassador Imru Zelleke was never incarcerated outside of East Africa.

List of Ethiopian POWs at Asinara[edit]

The prisoners held on Asinara are as follows:[3]

  1. Princess Romanework Haile Selassie
  2. Lij Merid Beyene [4]
  3. Lij Samson Beyene [5]
  4. Woizero AtsedeWoin Heruy[6]
  5. Woizero Genet Heruy[7]
  6. Dejazmatch Girmachew TekleHawariat[8]
  7. Lij Seifu Mikael
  8. Woizero Sara Workneh[9]
  9. Woizero Ketsela Tullu[10]
  10. Kentiba Gebru Desta[11]
  11. Woizero Senedu Gebru[12]
  12. Emahoy YewubDar Gebru[13]
  13. Woizero Desta Gebru[14]
  14. Woizero Genet Gebru[15]
  15. Ato Wagaye Gebru[16]
  16. Ato Misew Gebru[17]
  17. Ato Bobi Gebru[18]
  18. Woizero ShewaReged Gedle[19]
  19. Ato Kifle Wodajo
  20. Balambaras MahitemeSellasie WoldeMeskel[20]
  21. Lij Minase Asfaw
  22. Dejazmatch Habte'Mikael Yinadu
  23. TsehafeT'ezaz WoldeMeskel Tariku
  24. Fitawrari LeulSeged Wendyirad
  25. Lij Hiwot Wendyirad
  26. Balambaras LeulSeged Yimer
  27. NegaDires Gebre-Egziabher François
  28. Woizero Aster Workneh
  29. Kegnazmacth Habte'Mikael Birru
  30. Ato Lema Shurte
  31. Kegnazmatch Lema Bisewur
  32. Girazmatch Legesse Gizaw
  33. Kegnazmatch LeulSeged Deneke
  34. Lij Liben Gebrehiwot
  35. Ato LisaneWerk WeldeMikael
  36. Weizero Hamere Eshete
  37. Shiek Mohammed Shafi
  38. Lij Mesay WendBewesen
  39. Girazmatch Mesha Wenberu
  40. Kegnazmatch Meshesha
  41. Dejazmatch Metaferia MelkeTsedek
  42. Dejazmatch Mengesha Wube
  43. Ato Mekonnen Tesema
  44. Ato Mekonnen WoldeYohannes
  45. Dejazmatch Mekonnen Wosene
  46. Ato Mekonnen WendAwik
  47. Ato Mekonnen GebreHiwot
  48. Lij Mulugeta Bezabih
  49. Weizero Mamite
  50. Ato Mamo BehsaWured
  51. Ato Markos ManAmnoh
  52. Ato Markos Reta
  53. Ato Masresha
  54. Weizero ManYahilishal Kassa
  55. Weizero Mintiwab Tekle
  56. Ato Minda HabteSellasie
  57. Kegnazmatch Mola Wenberu
  58. Ato SahileMariam Sifeta..
  59. Fitawrari SahileGiorgis Nadew
  60. Blatten Geta Sahle Tsedalu
  61. Dejazmatch Seyoum Desta
  62. Balambaras Reda
  63. Woizero Roza
  64. Ato SelaDingay Tilahun
  65. Ato Senbeta Bedane
  66. Woizero Sara GebreEyesus
  67. Ato Samuel Gebreyes
  68. Lij Sileshi Bezabih
  69. Ato Sileshi WendBewesen
  70. Sheik Shofe
  71. Girazmatch Belew Tessema
  72. Ato Belachew Yadete
  73. Dejazmatch Belay Ali
  74. Ato Berehe
  75. Ato Bekele Senbete
  76. Ato Bekele Kiros
  77. Ato Bekele GebreTsadik
  78. Woizero Bekelu Kassa
  79. Girazmatch Bedasso Abdulahi
  80. Ato BeFekadu WoldeMikael
  81. Girazmatch Biyad'gilign
  82. Ato Benedeto AtnafeAlem
  83. Ato Birhane HabteMikael
  84. Ato Birhane Markos
  85. Lij BirhaneSellasie Yibsaa
  86. Fitawrari Temesgen Bitew
  87. Ato Temune
  88. Lij Terefe WoldeGabriel
  89. Blatta Tessema Belhu
  90. Balambaras Tessema Ali
  91. Blatta Tessema Debalke
  92. Ato Tesfaye Tegegn
  93. Dejazmatch Tesfa Tiku
  94. Meli'ake Genet Tesfaye
  95. Ato Teshome Minda
  96. Girazmatch Tebeje
  97. Ato TekleMariam Kassahun
  98. Woizero Tewabech Ze'Amanuel
  99. Girazmatch Tedla HaileGiorgis
  100. Ato Tefera Lewetegn
  101. Fitawrari Tefera Mesfin
  102. Lij Teferi Bezabih
  103. Ato Tefera'Werk Kidane'Weld
  104. Lij Tadesse Wolde'Giorgis
  105. Ato Tafesse Gessese
  106. Ato Tewodros Workneh
  107. Kegnazmatch HaileMikael Haji Bilto
  108. Lij HaileMikael Zewde
  109. Ato HaileMikael Fetene
  110. Girazmatch HaileMariam Gessese
  111. Dejazmatch HaileSellasie Aba Je'Bel
  112. Azazh HaileSellasie Megenu
  113. Kegnazmatch HaileTsion Kawotona
  114. Ato Haili Markos
  115. Dejazmatch Hailu Tesfaye
  116. Ato Haile Bahir
  117. Ato Haile Tessema
  118. Balmbaras Haile GetaBicha
  119. Lij Haile WoldeMeskel
  120. Fitawari Haile WoldeTsadik
  121. Kegnazmatch Haile Digua'Wuhaw
  122. Ato Haile Digua'Wuhaw
  123. Kegnazmatch Nigatu Beshe
  124. Ato Alito
  125. Kadi Ahmed
  126. Kegnazmatch Amare GebreMariam
  127. Ato Areke GebreHiwot
  128. Woizero Aselefech
  129. Woizero Asegedech
  130. Ato Aseffa Mola
  131. Ato Aseffa Solomon
  132. Girazmatch Asres Tessema
  133. Woizero Askale WoldeAmanuel
  134. Woizero Askale Wosenne
  135. Fitawrari Asfaw Man'Aye
  136. Balambaras Asfaw TekleMariam
  137. Girazmatch Asfaw Tamene
  138. Ato Asfaw Andarge
  139. Ato Asfaw Ali
  140. Balambaras Asfaw WoldeGiorgis
  141. Ato Asfaw GebreYohannes
  142. Ato Asfaw FikreSellasie
  143. Blatta Ashine KidaneMariam
  144. Ato Abera Shih'New
  145. Balambaras Abera Ketema
  146. Woizero Abebech Abegaz
  147. Woizero Abebech Cherkose
  148. Girazmatch Abebe Nake
  149. Dejazmatch Abebe Ayelewerk
  150. Ato Abebe WoldeTsasdik
  151. NegaDires Abebe Wolde
  152. Bejirond Abegaz
  153. Ato Abate Mulat
  154. NegaDires Abayneh WoldeMikael
  155. Ato Amberbir Abebe
  156. Woizero Ayelech Birru
  157. Ato Ayele Ali
  158. Blatta Ayele Gebre
  159. Dejazmatch Ayalew Birru
  160. Fitawrari Ayalew Birru
  161. Woizero AtnafeAlem GebreHiwot
  162. AfeNigus AtnafSeged WoldeTsadik
  163. Tsehafi Ti'ezaz AfeWerk
  164. Ato Efrem Asfaw
  165. Balambaras Emagnu Yimer
  166. NegaDires Eshete Teketelew
  167. Ato Eshete Hailu
  168. NegaDires Eshete Wube
  169. Aleka Estifanos
  170. Kegnazmatch Kebede Meshesha
  171. Dejazmatch Kebede Aragaw
  172. Girazmatch Kebede Tasew
  173. Kegnazmatch Keterew WoldeAregay
  174. Blatta KidaneMariam Abera
  175. Ato Kassa Maru
  176. Dejazmatch Kassa Sibhat
  177. Woizero Kassa Yelemitu
  178. Girazmatch Kassa Raklis
  179. Ato Kosros Bogosian
  180. Woizero WoleteKidan Mamo
  181. Yitot WoleteYes
  182. Woizero Wolete Yohannes
  183. Girazmatch WoldeMikael Desalegn
  184. BlattenGeta WoldeMariam Ayele
  185. Ato WoldeRufael Ashengo
  186. Basha Wolde Sema'et
  187. Ato WoldeSenbet Ayito
  188. Kegnazmatch WoldeYes Ayele
  189. Ato Wolde Gabriel
  190. Fitawrari WoldeGiorgis Adem
  191. Merigeta WoldeTsadik Aferu
  192. Kegnazmatch WoldeTsadik Zegeye
  193. Ato WoldeTsadik Zegeye
  194. Ato Wolde Wossene
  195. Lij Wossene Metaferia
  196. Ato Workneh ZikArgachew
  197. Ato Wondim Siamregn
  198. NegaDires Wedajo Ali
  199. Ato Amde Abera
  200. Ato Umer Ibrahim
  201. Ato Alemu Tekle
  202. Basha Alemu
  203. Ato Alemu Endashaw
  204. Lij Aleme
  205. Lij Zelleke Nigatu
  206. Abba Zemede Birhan
  207. Woizero Zenebech
  208. Ato Zewde Tadesse
  209. Zena AmdeMariam
  210. Zimam Wodejao
  211. Kegnazmatch YeshiNeh
  212. Ato YetNeberk WoldeMeskel
  213. Ato Yilma GebreKidan
  214. Lij Yikum Abate
  215. Ato Yibisa
  216. Ato Yosef Ayele
  217. Fitawrari Demise Habte-Selassie
  218. Basha Demise Bedasa
  219. Girazmatch Demise Abe
  220. Ato Demise WoldeYes
  221. Lij Dereje Mekonnen
  222. Ato Desta Liben
  223. Kentiba Desta Mitike
  224. Fitawrari Desta AtnafSeged
  225. Kegnazmatch Desta WeldeKiros
  226. Woizero Desta WoldeMariam
  227. Fitawrari Desalegn Cherinet
  228. Ato Desalegn Abesha
  229. Woizero Debritu Abnet
  230. Kegnazmatch Dehne WoldeMariam
  231. Balambaras Degefu Gebre
  232. Woizero Dinknesh Teferi
  233. Dinknesh BeshaWured
  234. Woizero Dinknesh Dinkitu
  235. Ato Dilnese
  236. Ato Dua'ali Kadiye
  237. Kadi Jami
  238. Ato Gerime
  239. Basha Gesesse Reda
  240. Ras GebreHiwot Mikael
  241. Ato GebreMikael Tesema
  242. Blatta GebreMikael WoldeMeskel
  243. Ato GebreMikael Selfako
  244. Basha GebreMariam Surur
  245. Ato GebreMariam Ewinetu
  246. Ato GebreMariam Jimma
  247. Abba Gebre-Selassie
  248. Fitawrari Gebre-Selassie Aba Wurji
  249. LiquLiqawunt Gebre-Ab
  250. Lique Gebre-Kirstos Wolde-Yohannes
  251. Ato GebreYes HabteGabriel
  252. Ato GebreGiorgis GebreMariam
  253. Ato GebreTsion Nigatu
  254. Genet Tedla
  255. Basha Gont Lante Yideru
  256. Azazh Getahun Habte-Selassie
  257. Ato GetaBicha Tsemiru
  258. Fitawrari Gediwon Guangul
  259. Balambaras Girma YayehYirad
  260. Fitawrari Girma Mamo
  261. Girazmatch Gibaw Gizaw
  262. Girazmatch Gizaw Serawitu
  263. Ligaba Tasew Walelu
  264. Woizero Taitu Kebede
  265. Afe Nigus Tilahun BeHabte
  266. Azazh Tilaye Tesema
  267. Ato Tilahun Cherinet
  268. Ato Tigashaw Tsemiru
  269. Woizero TiruWerk Aligaz
  270. Tirunesh Wodere
  271. Memhir Cherkos
  272. Ato Tsegaye GebreTsadik
  273. Kegnazmatch Tsige WerdeWerk
  274. Kegnazmatch Tsige Yimamu
  275. Woizero Tsehay Abeba AbaKoran
  276. Kegnazmatch Tsemiru Gebre-Selassie
  277. Fikade-Selassie Emagnu
  278. Bejirond Fikre-Selassie Ketema


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Etsub Dinq Book, The writer of the book was an inmate at Asinara
  4. ^ Son of Princess Romanework and Dejazmatch Beyene Merid
  5. ^ Son of Princess Romanework and Dejazmatch Beyene Merid
  6. ^ BlattenGeta Heruy Wolde Selassie's daughter
  7. ^ BlattenGeta Heruy Wolde Selassie's daughter
  8. ^ Fitawrari TekleHawariat TekleMariam's son
  9. ^ Lij Seifu Mikael's wife, Hakim Workneh Eshete's daughter
  10. ^ Hakim Workneh Eshete's wife, Sara Workneh's mother
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-07-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's daughter
  13. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's daughter
  14. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's daughter
  15. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's daughter
  16. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's son
  17. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's son
  18. ^ Kentiba Gebru Desta's son
  19. ^ Famous Ethiopian Female patriot
  20. ^ Author of Etsub Dinq where this list derived from