From Military Internees to Civil Workers

The documentation presented in this room refers to another important passage in the history of the IMIs. In August 1944, following an agreement signed between Hitler and Mussolini on 20 July, instead of being military internees they became “civilian workers”.
In the display cases at the centre of the room we find working documents: passports, factory cards, a pay slip and some German branded goods with which former IMIs, now civil workers, were paid.

In this video, the working situation of Italian soldiers is illustrated through images and captions. They were used as forced labourers in factories or for necessary work in the fields and in mines. Not infrequently IMIs were used in clearing rubble or for the burial of corpses, after attacks and bombings.

Two cases anticipate the content of the last room, and are dedicated to the Liberation from the concentration camps, and the waiting period before returning home, which, in most cases, lasted until the end of September 1945. With the first breath of freedom, they returned to wave the flags which had been guarded with great care and secrecy by the prisoners.