"Lives of the IMI. Journeys from the war front to the German camps 1943-1945 "
Il freddo di mille fili di ferro puntuti circondava noi tutti rinchiusi e strapazzati dal vento. Poche assi di legno riunite in baracca … Dietro freddo di morte o mortìo di freddo. È lo stesso.
The National Association of Prison Veterans, of the Internment, the War of Liberation and their families welcomes you to the Museum “Lives of the IMI. Journeys from the war front to the German camps 1943-1945 “. It is dedicated to the 650 thousand Italian soldiers who, captured by the Germans after September 8, 1943, refused to collaborate with their Nazi-fascism and were sent to the concentration camps of the Third Reich.
For over 20 months they were subjected to inhumane treatment, harassment of all kinds and forced labour. About 50 thousand of them lost their lives due to illness, hunger, killings and bombings. Those who managed to survive were forever marked by the experiences which they had suffered.
The announcement of the Armistice between the Badoglio government and the Allies leaves Italian soldiers, who have been fighting alongside the Germans..
The Capture and the Journey
After the announcement of the Armistice with the Allied forces, read on the radio by Marshal Pietro Badoglio, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and officers, disorientated by their lack of orders…
Entry into the concentration camp
After their capture and the exhausting journey the tired and hungry prisoners reached different camps. On arrival they were deloused, disinfected, vaccinated and put in a line. Each was assigned a number…
This room is dedicated to life within the camp, but with a particular focus on cultural and artistic activities. The IMIs managed to achieve this despite extreme difficulties and not always just in the camps for the officers…
In August 1944, following an agreement signed between Hitler and Mussolini on 20 July, instead of being military internees they became “civilian workers”…
LIBERATION AND REPATRIATION
In February 1945, Germany’s defeat appears imminent. Liberation occurs at different times. Repatriation, mostly handled by the Anglo-American forces…