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04 June1944
The Liberation of Rome
Adriano Agottani
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

It is not a Sunday like any other, 4 June 1944 in Rome. The German occupiers are finally leaving. There are those who film them from their windows, secretly, watching them parade away, waiting to see if it is safe to take to the streets. It was filmmaker Adriano Agottani, with his 9.5 mm camera, who made this unpublished and extremely precious film: we show the first two minutes, with the help of historian Carlo Gentile, whom we thank.

"We see German soldiers first dragging a two-wheeled cart, then walking quickly carrying luggage and weapons, while numerous civilians cross an unidentified street, probably in the area between Via Appia Nuova, Via Tuscolana, and Piazza Asti. Then, a vehicle, probably an ambulance, drives down the road at high speed in the same direction as the retreating soldiers. An armoured vehicle of the Sturmpanzer IV (Brummbär) type appears at the corner of the gardens: there are now fewer civilians in the street, passing at a greater distance from the armoured vehicle. Vehicles of this type on the Italian front were only in the possession of Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 218: one was abandoned the same day along the Via Casilina at the corner of Via Capua. The vehicle starts moving again, followed by a second, flanked by a buggy with civilians (a family?) on board. The cameraman follows the vehicle as it drives away and passes in front of two large open sheds (air raid shelter, anti-raid shelter? or perhaps just industrial roofing?).

The cameraman descends into the street, where he films civilians, mostly men, talking excitedly. A young man is armed with a rifle, but holds it over his shoulder with the butt upwards, then another appears with an Italian musket (three hands hold the rifle). An American jeep passes by; many more people crowd the street to watch the passage of these military vehicles. The cameraman changes position to get closer to the passing jeeps and trucks loaded with soldiers'. In Rome, the war is over. Further north, it will still be almost a year.