November 16, 2010.
November 5, 1943 at 8:15 P.M. in the midst of World War II, a plane flies over the neutral state of Vatican City. It then goes on to drop five bombs on the world's smallest state, causing severe damage to the water tank near the railway station, as well as the offices of the governorate and the Vatican mosaic workshop. The international press spoke of nothing else for almost a week, all
trying to guess who was responsible for the bombing. Seven days after
the blasts, Pius XII asked the press to end all speculations and his
only wish was to avoid further violence.
Three years ago, in the antique markets of Verona, Augusto Ferrara bought an envelope with photographs and historic documents from that time period, the importance of which was unknown until now.Augusto Ferrara
Author, “1943: Bombs on the Vatican”
"Two friends from the Vatican told me they had seen some curious photos of the Vatican in a market of Verona. As a journalist I went to see what I could find. It was an envelope with 40 pictures taken from 1943.”
By luck, 67 years after the attack, these photos now shed light on what happened in the fascinating book “1943: Bombs on the Vatican.”
Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City said the bombing was seen as an “insult” because it was a deliberate attack on a neutral state.
After collecting eye-witness testimony and research in the Vatican Archives, Augusto Ferrara says that the five bombs were dropped by fascist troops on an order from Roberto Farinacci.
Despite having dropped five bombs, the fascists failed to hit the target.Augusto Ferrara
Author “1943: bombs on the Vatican”
“Farinacci went to Viterbo on a plane of the Republic. There he found a pilot, loaded the bombs and for five days flew over the Vatican, because he wanted to hit the Vatican Radio. According to the fascists, Vatican Radio encrypted messages communicating to the army that was entering Rome.”
This was the first and only attack the Vatican suffered in World War II. Its history is captured in this book with old newspaper clippings and before and after pictures of the bombing.
It is a book that explores one of the lesser known episodes in the history of the Vatican.