The Italian Government surrendered its forces to the Allies on 8 September 1943, and on the following day General Mark Clark launched Operation Avalanche, the landing of Allied troops on the coast of Italy, near Salerno.
On the 10 September 1943 the Germans occupied Rome, Mussolini’s officials perhaps guided by Mussolini himself tried to substitute half-measures to thwart deportation to the gas chambers in the death camps in the east.
But after his captivity on the Gran Sasso, Mussolini was a deflated balloon, and the Italian government was much weakened, the Gestapo wasted no time, aided by the Jewish registration lists created in the days when Mussolini and his fascist government had issued anti-Jewish decrees.
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The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team