During its first 18 months of life the Foundation has been involved in numerous cultural initiatives including some organised in collaboration with the National Institute for the History of the Italian Liberation Movement and the Home of Culture Association of Milan. 15 conferences have been organised as well as teaching activities that include a day of seminars about “The origins of the Republic”, held on 17th November 2003 in co-operation with the Regional Schools Department with the presence of past president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro plus the meeting of March 2004 in the Milan Province ‘s conference hall for the city’s students, again in co-operation with the Regional Schools Department and INSMLI regarding “The Strikes of March 1944. Disarmed civil resistance and annihilation in Nazi concentration camps”. More than 500 students took part in this initiative and a report of the meeting was published in the “Foundation’s Supplement” included with “Triangolo rosso”, ANED’s official magazine. In preparing for ANED’s congress in Trieste, the Foundation has arranged a conference in Milan on the theme of “Fascism, foibe, exodus: the tragedy of the eastern border” with the participation of Italian and Slovene scholars. The foundation has also organised a course for teachers and students on “The Sixties in Italy and the World: the young generation’s decade” from the 8th October 2004 to 22nd January 2005.
The Foundation has started producing documentaries recorded on VHS cassettes. The first two to be completed are “Who’s afraid of memories” where the most recent Italian political events are commented on by Moni Ovadia and “The Lesson” that describes the meeting between an ex-deportee from Trieste, Riccardo Goruppi, with students from the Leonberg High School in which he recalls his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp in that same German town.
In the past few months the Foundation has finalised two projects with part public funding.
The Bolzano Project – The first project, financed for 80% by the European Union, regards a study directed by Dario Venegoni on the Bolzano concentration camp. This research led to the publication of a book by Dario Venegoni entitled “Men, women and children in the Bolzano concentration camp. An Italian tragedy counting 7809 individual tales” The results of this study were presented in June 2004 in a convention held in the Bolzano Town Hall before the Mayor of Bolzano and Senator Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, ex-President of Italy.
Project “Memories Archive” – This project is currently being carried out with a 50% funding contribution from the Cariplo Foundation. It foresees the purchasing of materials for the conservation of documents and the making of digital copies so that they will not be lost for future generations; the collection of oral or filmed testimonies of concentration camp survivors; the modernisation and complete makeover of the Internet site www.deportati.it – already active for the last 7 years and visited especially by students. The site will continue to be directed by Dario Venegoni.