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Italians flock to Milan's Shoah Memorial on Remembrance Day

Site built on track 21, where convoys headed for Auschwitz

27 January, 18:35
Italians flock to Milan's Shoah Memorial on Remembrance Day (ANSA) - Milan, January 27 - At least 2,000 people from Milan and surrounding areas got in line Monday morning to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a visit to the city's Shoah Memorial.

A total of 7,000 people including kids on school trips, families, retirees, and workers on their lunch break visited the memorial between Sunday and Monday, museum authorities said.

The memorial enshrines track 21 at the city's central station, where between 1943 and 1945 almost 2,000 Italian Jews and political dissidents were packed into windowless cattle cars and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen Belsen concentration and death camps, or to Italian concentration camps at Fossoli and Bolzano.

The 7,000-square-meter memorial includes a Jewish-themed library rising three stories, an auditorium, a room for silent contemplation and a cluster of open-sided cubes for showing video testimonials by European Holocaust survivors. The names of the deportees are inscribed on a wall behind a preserved track from the original depot, with four windowless wooden train cars on display.

The first convoys for Auschwitz left track 21 on January 30, 1944. Of the 605 Italian Jews who were deported that day, only 22 came home.