Railwayman Giovanni Grillo being executed



Railwayman Giovanni Grillo being executed


A firing squad of three German soldiers are aiming their rifles at the railwayman Giovanni Grillo, who is standing against a wall with his right arm in the air. A priest with a book in his hand is leaving the scene.

Label reads “142”; signed by the author; caption reads “PONTEBBA. 30 SETTEMBRE 1944. Giovanni Grillo ferroviere deviatore alla stazione di Pontebba con rischio della propia vita, apriva le porte piombate dei carri carichi di deportati per la Germania. 12 soldati vengono fatti fuggire, uno di essi ammalato fu scoperto in casa del Grillo. La mattina del 3 Ottobre ritto in piedi sfida il plotone di esecuzione, cade gridando “Wiva [sic] l’Italia”.

Caption translates as: “Pontebba, 30 September 1944. Giovanni Grillo was a railway man, a signalman at Pontebba railway station. He risked his life by opening the doors, sealed with lead, of the wagons loaded with deportees to Germany. Two soldiers were helped to escape but one of them fell ill and was found at Grillo’s house. On the morning of 3 October, standing upright, he challenged the firing squad. He fell proclaiming “long live Italy”.

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




One tempera on paper, pasted on mount board


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Angiolino Filiputti, “Railwayman Giovanni Grillo being executed,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/152.

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