All About History


The tale of occupied Rome is not one of World War II’s better-known episodes and is rarely spoken of in the same breath as the harrowing stories of Paris and Warsaw. Yet this doesn’t mean it’s any less fascinating. In fact, the story of Rome during the war can be considered unique. The position of the Italians initially as members of the Axis meant that the city’s occupation had to be handled with a level of care. As a result, it was unlike any other territory taken by the Nazis, and its story involves brave partisans, Allied POWs and the heart of the Catholic Church. Victor Failmezger, author of Rome: City In Terror, reveals how it lived through nine months of Nazi rule.

How did you become interested in the story of Rome during the Nazi occupation?

As a kid growing up in New Jersey, I was fascinated by movies about ancient Rome. This was the period of sword and sandal movies and I think I saw every single one! In 1968, after my third year at university, I

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