INSIDE ROME WITH THE GERMANS By JANE SCRIVENER. FOREWORD By CARLTON
J. H. HAYES Late American Ambassador to Spain How fortunate that
among the very few Americans who re mained in Rome throughout the
war there was an alert and talented lady who had a literary flair
and kept a diary She writes under the pseudonym of Jane Scrivener,
but this, as I shall presently explain, is the only pseudo thing
about it. It is an eyewitness account, as authentic as it is vivid.
As background, one may recall that Mussolini and his Fascists, in
concert with Hitler, had plunged Italy into war against France and
Great Britain in June, 1940, and against the United States in
December, 1941. By the spring of 1943 Italy was over whelmed by
misfortunes at home and abroad. Axis rout in North Africa was being
followed by Allied invasion of Sicily, while within Italy the
masses of the population were suffering intensely and Mussolini had
become a mere puppet of the Ger mans who already occupied and
terrorized the country. Jane Scrivener was an old friend of my wife
and myself, and while we were in Spain we received letters from her
giving us lively impressions of what was transpiring in Rome. She
described with special vigor the Allied air attack of July 19, 1943
the efficacious bombing of railway yards and freight station, the
wrecking of a populous workingmans quarter, the ripping up of a
cemetery, the demolishing of the famous did basilica of St.
Lawrence-Outside-the-Walk She conveyed a sense of the thrill of
horror that immediately ran througfc the city, of the increasing
tension of the ensuing hot July days, and of the historic character
of the tea-hour session of the Fascist Council on July 24th and the
Kingsannouncement two days later that Mussolini had been dismissed
and Marshal Badoglio vii was prime minister. Of the scene on this
day, she wrote The joy of the Italians on being rid of Fascism
gives Rome a carnival air. Torn fragments of Mussolinis portraits
lie like snow on the pavements. People laugh and talk in the
streets as they have not done for years. Perfect strangers greet
and congratulate one another. Now we can say what we like, with no
fear of spies they joyously exclaim. Fascist emblems are hacked
from public buildings to the accompaniment of cheers and applause.
The city is covered with posters Ewiva il Re Evviva Bado glio
Evviva la liberta Rome, in her long history, has never known quite
such a day. Forty-five days passed, and on September 8, 1943,
Marshal Badoglio concluded the armistice with the Allies. But this
did not mean the delivery of Rome. Quite the opposite. It was the
Germans and not the Italians who were in effective military control
of the city, and the Germans had no intention of sur rendering it
or treating it as an open city. Nor were the Allies in any position
then, or for a long time afterwards, to liberate Rome. For months
their offensive bogged down many miles south. It was not until June
5, 1944, after a lapse of nine frightful months, that Jane
Scrivener saw in Rome the first Allied soldiers four American boys
in a jeep and knew that at long last the Eternal City was free and
secure. It is the day-to-day events of those nine months from the
Armistice of September, 1943, to the Allied arrival in June, 1944,
which the diary, now published, records...
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