After the Armistice was announced on 8 September 1943, Jews in Italy found that they were no longer subjected merely to persecution with regard to their rights, but that their very lives were at risk too. Italy was divided in two and the rounding up of Jews began. The first massacre took place on 13 September 1943, in the small town of Meina on Lake Maggiore, while the first mass roundup occurred in Rome on 16 October 1943: over one thousand men, women and children were sealed into railway wagons and deported to Auschwitz. The group from the library began to break up: some unhesitatingly went into the mountains, others took more time, but the mountains seemed to be naturally considered by all of them as a place of refuge. For many this was true, for others it proved fatal.
Primo Levi Luciana Nissim and Vanda Maestro together formed a small band of partisans near Amay. They were arrested on 13 December 1943 and after a month in prison in Aosta they were transferred to Fossoli and from there to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At Fossoli they were joined by Franco Sacerdoti, who had been arrested in Val di Lanzo.
Giorgio Diena was arrested in Genoa in 1943, left prison in August and, after the armistice, joined the Resistance and took part in the organisation of the first partisan groups in Val Pellice. He was later active in Turin as a member of the executive of the Action Party (PdA).
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