Museum of Remembrance and Peace





The Countryside Museum of Remembrance and Peace is located in the former Dominican convent of St Bartholomew. During the years of Nazi persecution, the convent served as an internment and concentration camp for Italian and foreign Jews. Tangible and intangible evidence of the presence of Jewish internees was collected here from 1940 to 1943. For this reason, the place, marked by this important past, was chosen as the site for the Museum of Remembrance and Peace, opened in 2008, under the direction of Architect Marcello Naimoli, who has been contributing to its operation for several years.

The Museum of Remembrance and Peace in Campagna is located at the end of a town road that climbs up the hill from the centre of the town. Its fairly isolated location led to the convent being designated as an ideal location for internment.

The museum tour is developed on the two different levels of the building, inside which there is a porticoed courtyard typical of 16th-century convents. In the neighbouring church of St. Bartholomew, the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno celebrated his first mass, which is why the convent also houses the headquarters of the 'G. Bruno' cultural association on the second and top floor.

Four 'emotional rooms' have been set up on the ground floor, where visitors can learn about the history of deportations, the war and some of the Campagna internees through projections, photographs and documents.

The permanent exhibition on the first floor of the building tells the story of Giovanni Palatucci, Police Commissioner of Rijeka during the deportation years, and of Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, bishop of the town of Campagna during the same period. The route runs along an exhibition of photographic panels that also recount the history of the Shoah with documents and images. The photo gallery is located in the corridors of the first floor. The visitor will find displays narrating Palatucci's life, from his first photos in Montella, in the province of Avellino, to documents on the enactment of racial laws, from maps of internment camps in Italy, to concentration and extermination camps in Europe. Documents testifying to the collaboration between the nephew (Police Commissioner) and his uncle (Bishop), between the bishop and the Holy See in favour of the Jews conclude the tour.

The most significant part is that which aims to reconstruct, at least in part, the daily life of the internees. Three rooms have been set aside for this purpose: the Camerata, the Synagogue and the Hall of Names - escape route. The dormitory and synagogue contain objects of daily life and furnishings for prayer times. The names, surnames, nationalities and professions of some of the Jews interned in Campagna are displayed on one of the walls of the small room. A combination of light and shadow inside this room is meant to symbolise salvation, as the window that represented the escape route for interned Jews is also located here. These three rooms are enriched by a 'soundscape' that is supposed to recall the sounds of internment.

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