• Isaac Simon

Italian Concentration Camp Built, 1940

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: June 4th, 1940




One week before Italy was officially involved in WW2, Benito Mussolini orders the Italians to begin work on Ferramonti di Tarsia, an Italian concentration camp that held political dissenters, foreigners, and Jews. Located in Tarsia, the camp was the largest of the fifteen camps instituted by Mussolini between June and September of 1940. Around four thousand Jews were held at Ferramonti. . .

The Italian government began arresting Jews on June 15, 1940. From here, they were either sent to Italian camps like Ferramonti or to a graver fate to the north in Nazi extermination camps. During the three year period of June 1940 and August 1943, 3,823 Jews were held as prisoners at Ferramonti. Of that number, less than 4%, (141) were Italian. . . .

While these camps were not extermination or labor camps like the ones run by the Nazis, Jews were held against their will for several years with many restrictions.

Surprisingly, prisoners were still able to set up a library, nursery, education center, theater and synagogue.



All the prisoners were released six weeks after Mussolini’s defeat in September of 1943. Many went on to join the Allied armed forces. Others were part of the 1,000 refugees shipped to the United States and temporarily held at Camp Oswego in New York until their release and eventual path to citizenship. .


(follow @onthisdayinjewishistory)





Image Source:


Text Source:


5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All