"Harry Shindler is one of the most inspiring people I have met in recent years. His unswerving commitment to peace, unity, cooperation, and democracy strikes me as extremely counter trend in this day and age where arrogance, intransigence, and isolationism are common among nations and political leaders. He struck me as a compassionate, immensely wise, proactive, and dedicated "young at heart" man who spends his life pursuing worthy causes and warning this and future generations about the dangers of nationalism and reaction.
"Most of my films start with an inspiring character or real life person, and when I first met Mr. Shindler at the commencement exercises of The American University of Rome where he was awarded a honoris cause degree I knew I wanted to work with him. Such a momentous encounter has triggered in me a desire to expand on this project so it would encompass more wars, places, and soldiers. Funding is as always an issue which I am in the process of addressing and hopefully resolving soon."
Tony Villani, 2017
A British veteran of the Italian campaign in the Second World War, and an active campaigner to recognize fallen servicemen and those who supported escaped prisoners and refugees, Harry has campaigned with distinction and dignity to remember those who served the Allied cause.
Harry Shindler is a veteran of the 8th Army’s North African campaign, the landings at Anzio in 1944, the liberation of Rome and the subsequent Italian campaign. He published his memoirs of these experiences – Roma ricordi i suoi liberatori (2008) (now about to be published in Britain) – and, since founding the Italy Star Association, of which he has been President, he has championed and led the research to identify, for their families, where fellow servicemen perished in battle. Harry has been responsible for many monuments to the fallen, notably Captain Eric Fletcher Waters and the four hundred Allied prisoners killed near Orvieto in 1944. He has also been an active campaigner to erect memorials to those who supported escaped prisoners of war and those persecuted by the Axis powers. These have included monuments to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who. from the Vatican, is credited with saving six thousand five hundred lives, and to the American journalist/spy, Peter Tomkins.
For these services to Anglo-Italian relations Harry was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen with an MBE on 19 February 2014.
A resident in Italy since 1982, Harry has also actively campaigned for the voting rights of British ex-patriots, determinedly taking his case in 2009 to the British parliament, to the European Court of Human Rights and then pursuing this to Appeal. For this activism, in 2015, the UK’s Daily Telegraph identified Harry as the 32nd most important Briton of the year!
The American University of Rome is proud to salute Harry Shindler and has conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa.