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 in place of their name, to which they had to learn to respond in German during the endless daily line ups.
We invite you to explore the large interactive map where you will find the various internment camps. These prison camps, located in the Reich area (Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia) were marked with a Roman numeral indicating the military district and a letter of the alphabet or number which established the order within each district.
Here we see a selection of over 400 photos which were taken secretly by the officer Vittorio Vialli, who was held in camps in Luckenwalde, Benjaminowo, Sandbostel and Fallingbostel. After his Zeiss Super Ikonta camera was seized, with the help of his companions, he managed to hide a small Leica camera and to document his imprisonment in the various camps.
These documents are all original and were donated to the ANRP by the families or personally by the internees themselves and include some of their identification pictures. On each of these you will see the serial number and the code reference to the particular camp where the IMI was held.
Hunger is one of the worst forms of suffering remembered by the internees. The gradual reduction of food rations was a powerful way to blackmail and to weaken the resistance and the spirit of prisoners, inducing them to give in to the offers for better conditions in exchange for collaboration.