Father Placido Cortese
The Courage of Silence
On October 8, 1944, a 37-year-old Italian priest named Father Placido Cortese exits the Basilica of St. Antonio in Padua and gets into a waiting car, which then drives away. He is never seen again. It is World War II and Father Cortese plays a vital role in an underground resistance network ultimately responsible for saving hundreds of lives. Using a secret Vatican fund, Cortese rescued Jews, Slovenians, Croatians, and Americans from the hands of Italy's Fascist regime and from their Nazi allies. This documentary tells the story of their heroic efforts and of Father Cortese's disappearance. Through extraordinary eyewitness accounts and official records, we learn about the young priest's abduction by the Gestapo and of his refusal, in the face of brutal torture, to name his collaborators.
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