Luciana Nissim

Luciana with her father

Luciana Nissim

Luciana Nissim

Born in Turin on 20 October 1919, she grew up in Biella. A very good student, she graduated from school in 1937, thus being able to enrol at University before the race laws were issued and continue her studies up to her degree in Medicine on 8 July 1943. From 1938 she took part at the weekly meetings at the Library of the Jewish school. She became a close friend of Vanda Maestro, Eugenio Gentili Tedeschi, Primo Levi, Giorgio Diena and Giorgio Segre, Alberto Salmoni and Bianca Guidetti Serra. After the armistice she went first with her family to Brusson, and then with Vanda to Amay. Arrested on 13 December, after prison in Aosta she was deported to Fossoli. There Vanda, Luciana and Primo were joined by Franco Sacerdoti forming an inseparable foursome. On 22 February they were all sent to Auschwitz. Luciana managed to send a letter to Franco from Fossoli by addressing it to Bianca and to throw a note from the train when it went through Bolzano. While her family were safe in Switzerland, Luciana remained at Birkenau where she worked as a doctor until the end of August 1944. She was then transferred to the Hessisch Lichthenau sub-camp linked to Buchenwald. The camp was liberated by the Americans in April 1945. On her return to Biella she wrote an account of her experience at Birkenau, “I ricordi della casa dei morti” (Memories of the House of the Dead) published in 1946, one of the earliest books on deportation. She went back to her studies to specialise in paediatrics and in 1946 married Franco Momigliano.








INSMLI

Multimedia interactive exhibition
Turin • 27 January | 20 March 2010
Fossoli • 25 April | 11 July 2010
5-20 September 2010
Roma • 12 October | 27 November 2010