Italien / Museum
The Living Museum of Remembrance, open since 2013 in Colle San Magno, i.e. the German rear of the Cassino front, recounts the experience of the civilian population under Nazi occupation between 1943 and 1944.
Colle San Magno - a small medieval mountain village a few hours' walk from Montecassino - was an important German rear post for the Cassino front (munition depots, field kitchens, radio stations, military hospitals) from September 1943 to May 1944. The museum tells the story of the experience of the civilian population under Nazi occupation, with several video interviews with witnesses developed in cooperation with the University of Cassino, original exhibits, documentaries, historical research and archive documents. The museum also records the stories of inhabitants of Colle San Magno who were directly involved in the conflict (partisans on other fronts in Italy and Europe, war prisoners, internment and deportation to Germany). The Museum is in Italian and it is entirely translated into English with room cards and subtitles in the videos.
It also hosts temporary exhibitions of local history (photographic documents of life, work and traditions of the inhabitants; the strong emigration abroad) and offers specific activities for schools.
The Museum has maintained a number of 'remembrance trails' and a 'remembrance cycle path' at significant wartime locations. In particular, a five-hour walk from Colle San Magno to the Abbey of Montecassino is possible along a mountain trail that passes through the battle sites of Cassino and retraces the paths that German soldiers took to reach the front. The museum is the property of the town council and is managed by the Association of Friends of the Living Museum of Remembrance, which also organises cultural events in the area. Admission is free.