The Vatican Pimpernel

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The Vatican Pimpernel

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Author: Brian Fleming

Type: Paperback

ISBN: 9781848892095

Date: 28th February, 2014


  1. Categories

  2. Biography: General
  3. Military History
  4. Military History


Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty is an Irish Oskar Schindler. During the German occupation of Rome he ran an escape organisation for Allied POWs, civilians and Jews. The work was dangerous. Safe only within the Vatican, he regularly ventured out in disguise. Kappler, the Gestapo chief, ordered him captured or killed.   When the Allies entered Rome he had saved over 6,500 lives. Kappler was sentenced to life. His only visitor, monthly, was O'Flaherty. O'Flaherty was awarded high honours, including a CBE (UK), the Congressional Medal (US), and was the first Irishman named Notary of the Holy Office. He retired to Kerry in 1960 and his death in 1963 was reported by newspapers worldwide. Immortalised in the film The Scarlet and the Black with Gregory Peck as O'Flaherty, he is commemorated in Ireland by a grove of Italian trees in Killarney National Park and a statue unveiled in Killarney in 2013.

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