Risiera di San Sabba

Risiera di San Sabba (Slovene: Rižarna) is a five-storey brick-built compound located in Trieste, northern Italy, that functioned during World War II as a Nazi concentration camp for the detention and killing of political prisoners, and a transit camp for Jews, most of whom were then deported to Auschwitz.[1] SS members Odilo Globocnik and Karl Frenzel, and Ivan Marchenko are all said to have participated in the killings at this camp. The cremation facilities, the only ones built inside a concentration camp in Italy, were installed by Erwin Lambert, and were destroyed before the camp was liberated. Today, the former concentration camp operates as a civic museum.[2]

Risiera di San Sabba
Concentration camp
Risiera di San Sabba 2
Internal courtyard of the Risiera di San Sabba. The remains of the crematorium can be seen on the wall.
Risiera di San Sabba is located in Italy
Risiera di San Sabba
Location of Risiera di San Sabba within Italy
Coordinates45°37′15″N 13°47′21″E / 45.62083°N 13.78917°ECoordinates: 45°37′15″N 13°47′21″E / 45.62083°N 13.78917°E
LocationTrieste, Italian Social Republic
Operated bySS
InmatesItalian Political prisoners, Italian Jews, Yugoslavian Resistance fighters and Yugoslavian civilians (primarily Slovenes and Croats)
Notable inmatesBoris Pahor


The building was erected in 1913 and first used as a rice-husking facility (hence the name "Risiera"). During World War II, German occupation forces in Trieste used the building to transport, detain and exterminate prisoners. Many occupants of Risiera di San Sabba were transported to the German Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Occupied Poland.[3] Historians estimate that over 3,000 people were killed at the Risiera camp and thousands more imprisoned and transported elsewhere. The majority of prisoners came from Friuli, the Julian March and the Province of Ljubljana.

Boris Pahor was also held at the camp before being transported to the concentration camps of Dachau and Natzweiler.

After the war, the camp served as a refugee center and transit point. In the 1950s, many people, especially ethnic Italians fleeing then communist Yugoslavia, passed through the camp, not to mention Croats and Russians, whose home was San Sabba, San Sabba Annex, Opicina, Gesuiti for more than three years before they were able to emigrate elsewhere.

See also


  1. ^ La Risiera di San Sabba. Le Deportazioni, La Liberazione. moked/מוקד il portale dell'ebraismo italiano.
  2. ^ The Museum (2009). "Risiera di San Sabba. History and Museum" (PDF). With selected bibliography. International Committee of the Nazi Lager of Risiera di San Sabba, Trieste: 1–7. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 7, 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  3. ^ The Museum (2009). "Risiera di San Sabba. History and Museum" (PDF). With selected bibliography. International Committee of the Nazi Lager of Risiera di San Sabba, Trieste: 1–7. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 7, 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2015.

External links

12th SS Police Regiment

The 12th SS Police Regiment (German: SS-Polizei-Regiment 3) was initially named the 12th Police Regiment (Polizei-Regiment 12) when it was formed in 1942 from existing Order Police units (Ordnungspolizei) in Germany. It was redesignated as an SS unit in early 1943. The regimental headquarters was disbanded in early 1944, but its battalions remained in service.

Altura (Trieste)

Altura is a neighbourhood in the town of Trieste, Italy, region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It was established in the 1970s, is located circa 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the centre of Trieste and has a population of about 3,400 inhabitants.

Fritz Schmidt (SS officer)

Fritz Schmidt (29 November 1906 – 4 February 1982) was a low-ranking commander in the Schutzstaffel of Nazi Germany and Holocaust perpetrator during World War II. He served as a guard and driver at the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre and at the Bernburg Euthanasia Centre in 1940–41 with the rank of Unterscharführer. Schmidt was transferred to Treblinka extermination camp along with other gassing specialists in 1942. At Treblinka, he was in charge of the engine room feeding exhaust to the gas chambers.

After the closing of the camp in 1943 he was moved to Trieste headquarters of the Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral where the Risiera di San Sabba killing centre was being set up. After the war he was arrested by the Allies in Saxony and questioned. In December 1949 he was put on trial and sentenced to nine years in prison (possibly amnestied). He lived in West Germany until his death in 1982.SS-Oberscharführer Heinrich Matthes, chief of the extermination area at Camp 2 and deputy commandant of Treblinka extermination camp testified later about Schmidt's role in the killing of Jews.

About fourteen Germans carried out services in the upper camp. There were two Ukrainians permanently in the upper camp. One of them was called Nikolai, the other was a short man, I don't remember his name... [Ivan, said Yankel Wiernik] These two Ukrainians who lived in the upper camp served in the gas chambers. They also took care of the engine room when Fritz Schmidt was absent. Usually this Schmidt was in charge of the engine room. In my opinion, as a civilian he was either a mechanic or a driver ... Altogether, six gas chambers were active. According to my estimate, about 300 people could enter each gas chamber. The people went into the gas chamber without resistance. Those who were at the end, the Ukrainian guards had to push inside. I personally saw how the Ukrainians pushed the people with their rifle butts ... The gas chambers were closed for about thirty minutes. Then Schmidt stopped the gassing, and the two Ukrainians who were in the engine room opened the gas chambers from the other side.

Gustav Münzberger

SS-Unterscharführer Gustav Münzberger (17 August 1903 – 23 March 1977), born in Weißkirchlitz (Sudetenland), was a carpenter and factory worker before the Holocaust. Following the Nazi German invasion of Poland at the onset of World War II he was posted as a serviceman in August 1940 at the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre at Schloss Sonnenstein in Pirna. He arrived at the Treblinka extermination camp in late September 1942 and became assistant to deputy commandant SS-Oberscharführer Heinrich Matthes, in charge of leading Jews into the gas chambers and gassing them.Treblinka was built as part of the most deadly phase of the Final Solution, known as Operation Reinhard. The camp operated between 23 July 1942 and 19 October 1943. During this time, more than 800,000 people – men, women, and children – were murdered there, with other estimates exceeding 1,000,000 victims.Münzberger was an operator of the gas chambers at the Totenlager, and later Chief of the Leichentransportkommando corpse transport team. On 21 June 1943 he was promoted from the rank of SS-Rottenführer to the rank of SS-Unterscharführer. During the Treblinka revolt he was on holiday at home. After the closure of Treblinka, he was sent to Trieste in Italy at the end of November or early December 1943. The Risiera di San Sabba killing centre was being set up there. Münzberger was arrested twenty years later in West Germany on 13 July 1963.He was charged with war crimes at the Treblinka trials lasting from 12 October 1964 till 24 August 1965, and sentenced for 12 years imprisonment. He served six years and was released on good behavior in 1971. He died six years later.

Il Piccolo

Il Piccolo is the main daily newspaper of Trieste, Italy. Its name derives from the paper's original small format.

Leonardo de Benedetti

Leonardo de Benedetti (born September 15, 1898 in Turin, Italy; died October 16, 1983) was an Italian Jew and physician who was interned in the Auschwitz concentration camp from February 1944 until its liberation in January 1945. After the end of the Second World War he and fellow inmate Primo Levi wrote Auschwitz Report, a factual report of conditions inside the camp.

List of Italian concentration camps

Italian concentration camps include camps from the Italian colonial wars in Africa as well as camps for the civilian population from areas occupied by Italy during World War II. Memory of both camps were subjected to "historical amnesia". The repression of memory led to historical revisionism in Italy and in 2003 the Italian media published Silvio Berlusconi's statement that Benito Mussolini only "used to send people on vacation".

MIB School of Management Trieste

MIB is an international School of Business and Management located in Trieste.

Nikolay Shalayev

Wachmänner Nikolay Yegorovich Shalayev (Ukrainian: Микола Єгорович Шалаєв) was an SS auxiliary guard (Hilfswilligen) trained at Trawniki and serving at the Treblinka extermination camp in occupied Poland during the Holocaust. He was one of two Ukrainian guards (along with Ivan Marchenko) in charge of the motor that produced the exhaust fumes which were fed through pipes into the gas chambers during the killing process.Shalayev was tried in the Soviet Union after the war, and sentenced to death in 1951 for treason. On 3 May 1951 he gave testimony to his KGB interrogators about the gassing at Treblinka. In an attempt to defuse the sheer enormity of his crimes he kept pointing his finger at the Jews from the Sonderkommando "helping him". Both Shalayev and Marczenko (known to his victims from Treblinka as "Ivan the Terrible") were sent by the SS to Trieste, Italy after Treblinka was closed, where they participated in the murder of prisoners at the Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp before the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

Nova Gorica railway station

Nova Gorica railway station (Slovene: Železniška postaja Nova Gorica; Italian: Stazione di Nova Gorica) serves the town and municipality of Nova Gorica, in the Slovenian Littoral region of Slovenia, and is also accessible from the town of Gorizia, Italy.

The station forms part of the Bohinj Railway, between Jesenice, Slovenia, and Trieste, Italy. Due to its geographical position, it has undergone several changes of nationality and name.

From its opening in 1906 until 1919, the station was located within the Austrian Empire, and was named Görz Staatsbahnhof (English: Gorizia station of the State Railways). In 1919, as part of border changes following World War I, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy, and renamed Stazione di Gorizia Nord. In 1923, the station was renamed again, this time as Stazione di Gorizia Montesanto.

In 1947, control of the station passed to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the station being located within the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, and renamed Železniška postaja Nova Gorica. Slovenia became independent in 1991, but on that occasion the station was not renamed. The station is currently owned and operated by Slovenske železnice (SZ).

Odilo Globočnik

Odilo Globočnik (21 April 1904 – 31 May 1945) was an Austrian war criminal. He was a Nazi and later an SS leader. As an associate of Adolf Eichmann, he had a leading role in Operation Reinhard, which saw the murder of over one million mostly Polish Jews during the Holocaust in Nazi extermination camps Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibór and Bełżec. Historian Michael Allen described him as "the vilest individual in the vilest organization ever known".

Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral

The Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral (German: Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland, OZAK; or colloquially: Operationszone Adria); Italian: Zona d'operazioni del Litorale adriatico; Croatian: Operativna zona Jadransko primorje; Slovene: Operacijska zona Jadransko primorje) was a Nazi German district on the northern Adriatic coast created during World War II in 1943. It was formed out of territories that were previously under Fascist Italian control until its takeover by Germany. It included parts of present-day Italian, Slovenian, and Croatian territories. The area was administered as territory attached, but not incorporated to, the Reichsgau of Carinthia. The capital of the zone was the city of Trieste.

Rai Radio Trst A

Rai Radio Trst A is an Italian radio station aimed to the Slovene listeners in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and broadcast by the state broadcaster RAI.

The station is based in Trieste and is available locally on FM, MW frequencies and through RAI's DVB-T network. From 19:35 till 07:00 RAI Radio Tutta Italiana is broadcast on Rai Radio Trst A.

Slovene theatre in Trieste

The Slovene Civic Theatre in Trieste (Slovene: Slovensko stalno gledališče; Italian: Teatro Stabile Sloveno) is the professional theatre of the Slovene minority in Trieste. The building was designed in the 1960s by Edo Mihevc, a Slovene architect of Trieste descent.

Stadio Nereo Rocco

Stadio Nereo Rocco is a football stadium in Trieste, Italy. It is currently the home of Triestina, named after former player and manager Nereo Rocco. The stadium holds 21,000.

Stolpersteine in Croatia

The Stolpersteine in Croatia lists the Stolpersteine in the Republic of Croatia. Stolpersteine is the German name for stumbling blocks collocated all over Europe by German artist Gunter Demnig. They remember the fate of the Nazi victims being murdered, deported, exiled or driven to suicide.

Generally, the stumbling blocks are posed in front of the building where the victims had their last self-chosen residence. Until now in Croatia there has been only one collocation of Stolpersteine—in 2013 in the Adriatic town Rijeka (Croatian pronunciation: [rijěːka], in Italian: Fiume). From 1466, this town was under Habsburg rule for four and half centuries, at last with two-thirds of its inhabitants being of Italian descent. Thereafter, Rijeka was independent for some years. From 1924 to the end of WW2, the city belonged to Italy. The name of the Stolpersteine in Croatian is Kamen spoticanja, and in Italian: pietre d'inciampo.

The list is sortable; the basic order follows the alphabet according to the last name of the victim.

The Holocaust in Italy

The Holocaust in Italy was the persecution, deportation, and murder of Jews between 1943 and 1945 in the Italian Social Republic, the part of the Kingdom of Italy occupied by Nazi Germany after the Italian surrender on September 8, 1943, during World War II.

The oppression of Italian Jews began in 1938 with the enactment of Racial Laws of segregation by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. Before the Italian surrender in 1943, however, Italy and the Italian occupation zones in Greece, France and Yugoslavia had been places of relative safety for local Jews and European Jewish refugees. This changed in September 1943, when German forces occupied the country, installed the puppet state of the Italian Social Republic and immediately began persecuting and deporting the Jews found there. Italy had a pre-war Jewish population of 40,000 but, through evacuation and refugees, this number increased during the war. Of the estimated 50,000 Jews living in Italy before September 1943, some 8,000 died during the Holocaust (mostly at Auschwitz), while 40,000 survived. In this, the Italian police and Fascist militia played an integral role as the Germans' accessories.

While most Italian concentration camps were police and transit camps, one camp, the Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste, was also an extermination camp. It is estimated that up to 5,000 mostly political prisoners were murdered there.

The Holocaust in Italy has received comparatively little attention. For example, until the 1990s, no publication dealt with the history of the Italian concentration camps.

Trieste Film Festival

The Trieste Film Festival is an international film festival founded in 1989. Held annually on the third week of January in Trieste, it has become the leading festival of Central and Eastern Europe cinema in Italy.

Yizkor books

Yizkor books are memorial books commemorating a Jewish community destroyed during the Holocaust. The books are published by former residents or landsmanshaft societies as remembrances of homes, people and ways of life lost during World War II. Yizkor books usually focus on a town but may include sections on neighboring smaller communities. Most of these books are written in Yiddish or Hebrew, some also include sections in English or other languages, depending on where they were published. Since the 1990s, many of these books, or sections of them have been translated into English.

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