Robert Katz’s History of Modern Italy
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Time Capsule: The Talented Doktor DollmannEugen Dollmann
Sometimes a mere shadow, sometimes an audacious commander, he was always a chronicler, storing in his mind the stuff of tales for tomorrow. He had the uncanny talent of being everywhere in Nazidom whenever history was being made.


The changing landscape of the Aldo Moro tragedy: new revelations mark 30th anniversary of the kidnapping and assassination of Italy's preeminent statesman.

ARK obtains Washington's long-secret files on Aldo Moro. The CIA, FBI, and Department of State collections from 1962-1982; thousands of documents, released (reluctantly) to the Archives of Robert Katz under the Freedom of Information Act, now being catalogued, go on public view in Pergine Valdarno.

Among the early findings was myth-busting evidence of the U.S.'s pivotal role in backing the Rome government's shaky hard-line stance. From only minutes after the Moro kidnapping on March 16, 1978, Washington was pounded byClick for readable text an unprecedented outpouring of diplomatic telegrams, directly from          its Ambassador, Richard Gardner. His skewed reports and comments arriving daily — and sometimes virtually minute by minute — disclose a hidden agenda to quash any initiative to gain Moro's release and keep the Andreotti government in lockstep with an untried no-negotiations policy of leaving all stones unturned.

These telelgrams, wrote the Corriere della Sera in an advance review of the material, "[provide] a photograph of a Nation crushed by terrorism and trampled on by the political tension of the gravest crisis in its history as a republic, as seen by a Washington preoccupied by the possible consequences for its Italian ally." (click image for readable text)

Thus Gardner stressed, and often stretched, the "good news." In one telegram, for example, he reassured Washington that "From a source with ties to the [Moro] family, we understand that the family itself is opposed to the idea of an exchange [of prisoners]... they do not believe that Moro, himself, would want to be exchanged under circumstances which would be humiliating to him and to the state." Queried by the Corriere, a family spokesman replied unequivocally, "Any thought that the Moro family was contrary to an exchange of the president with whoever simply never existed." As for Gardner, his response to the Corriere was "I don't remember." Neither that telelgram nor any of the others, he said.


The Tuscan town of Pergine Valdarno (pop. 3200) as seen in a satellite photo .High above the Arno river valley, some 60 kms. soufh of Florence, Pergine originated as an Etruscan settlement. In the 2700 years since, it has seen much, "but not all," says Katz, "which is why I chose it." More about that choice can be found in the accompanying article.

About the archives

An American writer's long, hard look at the Italy of his times, the content of Robert Katz's "ark," settles in under a Tuscan sky
Recently donated by the author to the small hilltop township where he resides, the archive has already received the state's highest designation: "archive of notable interest"

PERGINE VALDARNO (from combined dispatches) — Robert Katz, the American historian who became famous in Italy with the publication of his book Death in Rome, the fundamental reconstruction of the Ardeatine Caves massacre, has decided to donate his archives to the town of Pergine Valdarno. An official report to the Tuscan regional government's directorate of cultural affairs, concluded that Katz's choice represents an "unquestionable enrichment of the documentary holdings both for Tuscany and nationally." The report went on to describe the contents of the archive, noting that it included a library of about 1,000 rare books. According to this assessment of the archive, another feature setting it apart from standard items – in this case nearly 100,000 pages of correspondence, diaries, and written and audio-visual documents – consists of a vast array of material collected by the author during his ten-year court battle in Rome with the Vatican. "It contains a wealth of information about many well-known personalities," the report states. They range from several historical figures to international titans of the film world – an extension of the author's unique documentation of the Americans in Rome throughout the 1970s.

Italy's first Summer School in investigative journalism, aimed at developing a reportorial prototype of reliable documentation and accurate analysis, will be held in the Tuscan town of Pergine Valdarno, 1-11 September 2008. The course is being organized by the Italian Associazione di giornalismo investigativo (AGI) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Programme of Correspondence Instruction in Peacekeeping Operations (UNITARPOCI). It will include a series of workshops in theory and practice related to the methodology of criminal investigation, archhival studies, the analysis of documentary sources and the techniques of journalistic inquiry both for printed media and television reporting. Successful participants will be awarded a UN certificate. For further information click on Summer School >

Now on DVD    The Unholy Battle for Rome
The History Channel's Primetime Special is based on Robert Katz's international best seller The Battle for Rome: The Germans, the Allies the Partisans and the Pope, September 1945-June 1944.

"In September 1943, the German army marched into Rome, beginning a 9-month battle for control of the "EItalians resisting Nazi takeover of Rometernal City". It was the Allied aim to preserve the Holy City's sacred institutions and treasures. So the staggering human cost before the city's military conquest is nearly incomprehensible.... We hear from ordinary Roman citizens, informants, opportunists, spies, double agents, and Germans who risked death in efforts to save Jews. We see Rome as the hotbed of assassination, intrigue, treason, and bravery that it was as we look unflinchingly at unresolved controversies." - The History Channel online

The Film:The Unholy Battle for Rome written by Norman Stahl, produced by Lou Reda for The The Unholy Battle for RomeHistory Channel
The special is based on the book The Battle for Rome--its author Robert Katz was subject to five penal proceedings over the years for his contention that fear of Communism produced a Faustian pact between the Vatican and the occupying Germans. The research draws on interviews with participants inside the city, and also on previously secret documents from Italian, German, Vatican, OSS and CIA archives:." - The History Channel.
   Interviewees (in order of appearance): Lt.Col. Roger Cirillo (ret.), Col. Rod Paschal (ret.), editor, MHQ, Carlo D'Este. Military Historian, Robert Katz, Liliana Picciotto, Jewish Document Center, Milan, Peter Tompkins ex-OSS chief and undercover spy in Nazi-occupied Rome, Elvira Sabbatini Paladini, director, Museum of the Liberation of Rome, Rosario Bentivegna, ex-partisan and a commander of the armed resistance, Alessandro Portelli, oral historian.

The Book:The Battle for Rome: The Germans, the Allies, the Partisans and the Pope, by Robert Katz, Simon & Schuster."Gripping...a poignant, dramatic and definitive account of a tragic time" -- The New York Times. See other major reviews

Telling it like it was ... Order book now from

THE JEWS OF ITALY Under Fascist and Nazi Rule, 1922-1945, Joshua D. Zimmerman (ed.), Cambridge University Press

"Challenging the myth of Italian benevolence during the Fascist period, [eighteen] authors investigate the treatment of Jews by Italians during the Holocaust, and the native versus foreign roots of Italian fascist anti-Semitism. Essays collected in this volume each illustrate a different aspect of Italian Jewry under Fascist and Nazi rule."  — from the publisher

Robert Katz's contribution to the work represents his most extensive report on the long-withheld, secret files of America's wartime The Möllhausen Telegram. Click for readable imageintelligence. Titled “The Möllhausen Telegram, The Kappler Decodes, and The Deportation of the Jews of Rome: The New CIA-OSS Documents, 2000-2002," his 41-page essay uncovers a startling paper trail.  On one end, it leads directly to Hitler's "instructions" to swoop down on Jews of Rome and dispatch them to Auschwitz; and on the other, it reaches into the White House itself, revealing the extent of Allied penetration of those very instructions. Like the Vatican, Katz writes, "London and Washington were in a position to warn the Roman Jews, yet maintained silence, mute witnesses to a preannounced journey to a gas chamber."

Other contributors include Giorgio Fabre, Liliana Picciotto Fargion, Michele Sarfatti, Alexander Stille and Susan Zuccotti

Hot Time Capsules:

"The Shady Deals of God's Banker" – TheBoot’s number-one Time Capsule – continues drawing thousands of new readers, many of whom were not even born when the dead man was hung from London's Blackfriar’s Bridge. Our latest Google test, a search of the name "Roberto Calvi," run on April 10, returned an extraordinary 94,200 hits, with TheBoot unequivocally leading the pack, beating its only rival, the venerable BBC. . This is a case bound to grow. Reopened both in the UK and Italy when the original suicide determination was no longer tenable. Four murder suspects went on trial last October. Calvi was killed for mismanaging Mafia money-laundering operations, prosecutors believe.. But could God’s banker have been speaking about the mob when shortly before his death he told his lawyers that if the truth were known, it could start World War III?

The Man Who Killed Aldo MoroThe man who knew too little
Why was Aldo Moro abandoned and left to die? The question asked by The New York Times a decade ago was little noticed then and forgotten now. But all the "dots" were at hand even then, waiting to be connected. Instead they were shrouded and buried alive by the myth of the misteri d'Italia -the mysteries of Italy - this nation's graveyard where coverups are buried alive.

The man who knew too muchThe Unquiet American When Rome’s massive nationwide manhunt failed to rescue Aldo Moro, the search began for an imagined mastermind. By 1994, sixteen years after the crime, the conspiracy scenarists were sure they had their man, snared in his own diabolical web. If he seemed a character straight from the Tom Clancy school of international thrillers, that was because he was – and thus wise to the ways of their game..     Versione italiana

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