Italy / Landmark
The Casa degli Oblati is one of the symbolic places of civil resistance in Lucca. From here, Don Arturo Paoli and his brothers hosted the CLN (National Liberation Committee) and carried out tireless work to assist the population and welcome the persecuted, particularly Jewish people.
The Oblates of the Holy Face were a diocesan congregation from Lucca that had chosen to adapt the rules of religious congregations to the life of the secular clergy.
Starting in June 1942, first Father Arturo Paoli and Father Guido Staderini and then from November 1943, Father Sirio Niccolai and Father Renzo Tambellini, joined a communal living experience in the premises of the old seminary in Via del Giardino Botanico, 2, (Casa degli Oblati).
From June 1944, the house was managed by Monsignor Raffaele Malfatti. The Oblates hosted the diocesan centre of GIAC, the St Vincent's Conference for Graduates and the 'Vita e Penseiro' association chaired by Giovanni Carignani. They also organised a boarding house for transfer students, and the 'Poor Man's Canteen', distributing over 500 soups a day.
They helped Jewish people fleeing from Pisa and Livorno, through Giorgio Nissim, but also foreigners, providing them with housing, food, clothing and above all documents. It is estimated that over 700 were assisted during the war.
They also provided health care to prisoners in the Pia casa di beneficenza and to refugees concentrated at the GIL, formerly the Royal College of San Frediano.
They housed the headquarters of the military CLN from March and from May, with the arrival of Augusto Mancini, who had been released from prison, as well as the political CLN until the end of August. The building was liberated on 5 September.
Via del Giardino Botanico, 2, Lucca