Established: 20 october 1943
After the establishment of the fascist Republic of Salo in September 1943, the new regime handed control of frontier territories including Fiume, Trieste and Udine with their hinterlands in Istria and Friuli over to the Nazis. The Nazis proceeded to create their own administration for these areas, which they called «Adriatisches Kuestenland» In this zone of Italy, the partisan war raged. It was therefore almost “logical” for the Nazis to create a concentration and extermination camp in Trieste, in a suburb not far from the city centre. They chose a disused rice silo as the location, in an area known as San Sabba. It is from its location that the camp – which housed, tortured, murdered and cremated anti-fascists, partisans, innocent civilians, Italians, Slovenes, Croats and Jews – gets its name.
The Risiera di San Sabba, which today is a national monument was the only extermination camp in Italy. More than 25,000 people were deported – straight to Buchenwald, Dachau and to Auschwitz. Another 5,000 people lost their lives at the hands of the German Einsatzkommando Reinhard (Einsatzkommando means “Action Group”), which had already distinguished itself in the massacres carried out in camps in Poland. On 29 April 1945, when Jugoslav partisans from IX Corps had already captured nearly the whole city, these same Nazis freed the few remaining survivors of the camp, before demolishing the crematorium and trying to erase all other traces of their macabre activities.
After the war, those in charge of the camp were convicted by an Italian court, but they escaped punishment for the crimes they had committed. The Risiera, today The Civic Museum of the Risiera di San Sabba is open every day, between the hours of 9am and 7pm. It is closed only two days each year, 25 December and 1 January. A Teaching Service (in Italian) within the Museum exists for all types of schools and also for groups of vistors, offering pre-booked vists of roughly an hour plus the viewing of a thirty-minute historical documentary, at a cost of 2 Euro per visitor. Alongside this service, which operates all throughout the year, another service is available during the Museum’s busiest period (April and May), called the Informational Teaching Council which offers the services of a number of officials to provide a guided tour without the need to make advance bookings.
For further details and information on bookings, please contact the Secretary of the Teaching Service (telephone or fax: 040 636969 (from inside Italy) or email email@example.com) available on Mondays between 9am and 1pm, and Wednesdays between 1pm and 6pm.
The official website of the Risiera di San Sabba (with translations in six languages: Italian, English, German, French, Slovenian and Croatian) can be found at http://www.risierasansabba.it/.
The fax number is 040 8330974 (from inside Italy), and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
- Witnesses, Judges, Spectators: Exposition by Dunja Nanut and Franco Cecotti. Traslation by Corey Dimarco
- How did they live and die in the Rice Mill? A few survivors narrate their accounts