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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Italy to Build its First Holocaust Museum

Italy will announce plans to build its first Holocaust museum. It will be in Rome.

Italy will announce plans Tuesday to build its first Holocaust museum, reports the Jerusalem Post.
The museum, which will be in Rome, will be part of Mayor Gianni Alemanno's 10-year plan for major city projects.

"Italy, like Austria, was a partner of Nazi Germany – not a victim, as the populace generally holds. Unlike Germany, we have never even begun the process of soul-searching. Italians don’t feel involved – they do not consider themselves as having collaborated,” the museum's director, Marcello Pezzetti, told the Jerusalem Post. “This museum, which will cover global Holocaust history but will have a special section on Italy, will speak directly to Italians, and not just Italian Jews."

Italy has launched a national campaign to encourage its residents to submit wartime family records or memorabilia to be included in the museum. The television campaign, called "Family Stories," features celebrities asking individuals and institutions to contribute to the museum.

The museum will be based on preliminary plans drawn by architects Luca Zevi and Giorgio Maria Tamburini. In addition to a building housing the museum, the project will include the restoration of two millennium-old Jewish catacombs.

About 8,600 Jews were rounded up in Italy between 1938 and 1945 and sent to concentration camps, from which they never returned.

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