risiera di san sabba

12

Sep
2020

RISIERA DI SAN SABBA – TRIESTE

Posted By : v.cortese/ 1129 0

The Risiera di San Sabba is the only example of a Nazi concentration camp in Italy. It is a national monument with the presidential decree of April 15, 1965. The Nazi occupiers, from September 1943 to April 1945, used the large complex of buildings of the rice husking plant built in 1898 in the suburb of San Sabba, first as a field of provisional imprisonment and then as Polizeihaftlager

risiera di san sabba trieste

(Police detention camp), intended for the sorting of deportees to Germany and Poland and for the detention and elimination of partisans, political prisoners and Jews.

risiera di san sabba trieste

On April 4, 1944, the pre-existing dryer plant was transformed into a crematorium capable of incinerating a greater number of corpses, designed by Erwin Lambert, an expert builder of crematory ovens in some Nazi extermination camps in Poland. whose path is marked by a steel plate, connected the oven to the chimney.

risiera di san sabba trieste

Today there is a symbolic Pietà made up of three metal profiles as a sign of the spiral of smoke that came out of the chimney. “Pietà” instead of the fireplace, which represents for Boico (architect and restructured of the rice field in 1975) a “pity for all: dead, alive, and for the Nazis themselves, both victims and terrifying machines of the whirling Nazi madness …” Boico chooses the language of structural essentiality, of the perfection of the calculation that generates the spiral and the very shape of the metal profiles, in order to obtain an abstract symbol without traditional religious connotations and a message of suspension of judgment. He would like to convey the sense of a pity “which is not desperate, but detached, astonished, almost indifferent”, without judgment.

risiera di san sabba trieste

On the ground floor of the building, in the inner courtyard, the Nazis built the “cell” of death, where prisoners were crammed to be killed and cremated within a few hours.

risiera di san sabba trieste

Continuing there are 17 very small cells. In each one up to 6 prisoners were held; the space was very small already for two people. In the first two cells prisoners were tortured and stripped of all their possessions.

Risiera di san sabba trieste

In these cramped rooms, partisans, politicians, Jews, waited for days, sometimes weeks, for the fulfillment of their dramatic destiny.

risiera di san sabba trieste

The walls of these cells were covered with graffiti and messages, preserved as evidence of the passage and suffering of inmates in the diaries of the scholar and collector Diego de Henriquez, who made an accurate transcription.

risiera di san sabba trieste

Pino Robusti was a student, he considered himself a political prisoner – as he wrote in the Easter letter to his parents – only after his internment in the Risiera di San Sabba. He was killed by the Germans at the age of 23, his body burned in the oven of the Risiera. Trieste April 15, 1945 “Laura my, I decide to write these pages in anticipation of a fatal and unforeseen epilogue. For two days, dozens of men and women leave for an unknown destination. It may also be my time. In this eventuality I find it my duty to leave you these lines as my only memory ….. ”

In the showcases incorporated in the walls of the hall of the crosses

risiera di san sabba trieste

 some personal objects stolen from Trieste Jews are exhibited.

risiera di san sabba trieste

The Risiera after being semi-destroyed by the fleeing Nazis who blew up the crematorium in the night between 28 and 29 April 1945, was occupied, after the war, by the allied troops, first used as a refugee camp, and finally left in a state of abandonment.

risiera di san sabba trieste

In 1975 it was renovated by the architect Romano Boico and the Museum was inaugurated.

In the Hall of Commemorations stands the monument dedicated to the martyrs of Auschwitz by the Trieste sculptor Marcello Mascherini.

Every year, on January 27 at the Risiera di San Sabba, the Municipality of Trieste organizes a Commemoration Ceremony so as not to “forget”.

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