75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Rome – 4 June 1944

The 75th Anniversary of D-Day is 6 June.

Today, however, is 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Rome.

In the following video, you can see among other things the invasion of Anzio, just below the Castelli Romani across the plain of Aprilia. Today, next to Anzio at Nettuno, where the Shrine of St. Maria Goretti is, you can visit the American cemetery. I remember going there with the Great Roman at around time of the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. As I walked among the graves I found myself standing at the stone of a Catholic chaplain who had died 50 years to the day that I found his grave.

At the 7:00 mark in the video you can see the evacuation of the Germans and arrival of the US (etc.) troops in Rome. (Great music.) And take in the blessing from Pius XII at the end.

And Pius addressing the troops in English.

How long before the next liberation of Rome, I wonder.

Thanks to reader BB for the tip.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chuck4247 says:

    Perhaps this calls for a viewing of “The Scarlet and the Black”

  2. bobbird says:

    A word about the music to “Victory at Sea”, which Fr. Z correctly notes is great music. Composed by the incomparable Richard Rodgers (of Hammerstein fame), it was commissioned by NBC for the early 50s TV documentary. Many sophisticated orchestras entertain audiences with the “Victory at Sea” suite. One sample here by the Houston Symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2P0CPFuXKA.

    The most notable are “Under the Southern Cross” made a Perry Como hit under the title “No Other Love Have I” and the “Guadalcanal March”. To merely listen to this is edifying but even more so after watching the documentary to see the context of the footage that the music portrays. I get teary every time I watch those GIs come down the gangplanks into the arms of their families.

    Another word: there is a long, long version of VAS on the internet in many handy segments, but also a shorter 90 minute one, with a narration from the superb Alexander Scourby.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    “The Scarlet and the Black,” good choice Chuck 4247. For a book may I suggest “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope” by Rabbi David Dalin.

    In 1945 the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Anton Zoller, and his family converted to the Catholic faith. Zoller took the name Eugenia Maria in honor of Pius XII who saved many Jews by, for example, hiding them at Castel Gondolfo.

    As the first video indicates the liberation of Rome was delayed until June 1944 due to a tactical error made during the January 1944 landing at Anzio. Rather than move quickly off the beaches and seize the Alban Hills just south of Rome, the landing force dug in a few miles inland. When they advanced on the Alban Hills a week later it was too late, the Nazis had fortified the Alban Hills, brought up artillery, and pounded the Anzio beachhead for the next four months.

    Today, the Alban Hills is a popular tourist destination with its lakes, quaint villages, ruins of Emperor Domitian’s palace, and fine cuisine. Though, the aradia and stregheria offered by some at several establishments are not to be recommended. The Alban Hills’ Feriae Latinae religious festival likely pre-dates the founding of Rome.

    Various artists have visited the Alban Hills such as the landscape painter Charles Coleman, Clara Louisa Wells, and Goethe.

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