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Prague hosts the presentation of “Operation Gran Sasso”

The Italian Cultural Institute in Prague has celebrated International Book Day with the presentation of a translation into Czech of “Free the Duce – Gran Sasso 1943, the True Story of Operation Gran Sasso” (“Osvobod’te Duceho!”) by the Italian historian and journalist, Marco Patricelli. The book, which the documentary film “Free the Duce”, produced by Italian broadcaster RAI, was based on, reconstructs one of the most audacious operations of the Second World War – the rescuing of Benito Mussolini on 12 September 1943 at Campo Imperatore.

“This volume, along with Marco Patricelli’s other historiographical work, bears witness to an extraordinary ability among researchers and historians: that is, the ability to combine professionalism in their use of historical sources with a constant attention to interpretation and dissemination,” says the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Giovanni Sciola, in his introduction to the event. “Reading his books is equivalent to ‘seeing’ the recounted events and understanding the deeper meaning of our shared experience.” In his essay, published in the Czech Republic by the publishing house Grada, Patricelli dismantles the Nazi Propaganda version of events, starting with the falsified role of Otto Skorzeny, liberator of Mussolini and takes apart certain untrue versions during the post-war period, including the alleged massacre which took place during the raid by German paratroopers on the orders of Major Harold Mors.

The presentation was also the occasion for the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague to step down after almost six years in office and over 850 initiatives. In August, the current director of the Chicago Institute, Alberta Lai, will take over his position.

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