Campagna internment camp

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Itinerario della Memoria e della Pace

Campagna internment camp, located in Campagna, a town near Salerno in Southern Italy, was an internment camp for Jews and foreigners established by Benito Mussolini in 1940.

The first internees were 430 men captured in different parts of Italy. Most of them were Jewish refugees came from Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Dalmatia, there were also some British citizens and a group of 40 French and Italian Jews. The number of inmates, during the three years varied considerably, ranging between 230 (February 1941) and 150 (September 1943).

The camp was never a concentration camp in the German sense of the term. Internees were allowed to receive food parcels and visit sick relatives. In addition, there were no mail restrictions. None of the internees were killed or subjected to violence. In fact, the internees were constantly protected from deportation to Germany, as the Nazis requested. Prisoners were allowed to organize a library, school, theater and a synagogue.

In September 1943 Italy capitulated and the Allied troops invaded South Italy. In response the German troops invaded Italy from the North. However, by the time they got to the Campagna concentration camp, all the inmates had already fled to the mountains with the help of the local inhabitants.

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