Hugh O’Flaherty, a cheerful Kerryman who loved sport, was in Rome in 1939 when the Second World War broke out. Unable to watch from the safe haven of the Vatican as people were arrested and sometimes killed, he set up an escape organisation for Allied POWs, Jews and others who needed help. The Gestapo chief, Kappler, had ordered Hugh be captured or killed, yet Hugh regularly donned disguises and ventured out in to the city. It was a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse between the Nazis and Hugh’s network of helpers, which included priests and nuns, communists, a Swiss count, British soldiers and the singer Delia Murphy. By the time the Allies freed the city, he had helped over 6,500 people. Written especially for children, this is based on the best-selling biography, The Vatican Pimpernel by Brian Fleming.
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