Museum of Deportation

Il Museo - spazio espositivo

The Museum of Deportation is a place of remembrance, dedicated to the memory of what happened in the Nazi concentration camps. It was inaugurated in 2002 at Prato, in the hamlet of Figline, where on 6 September 1944 29 partisans were hung by a retreating Wehrmacht unit. The museum owes its existence to some local survivors, all member of ANED [National Association of Former Deportees] and their untiring testimony, and to Prato's municipal authorities. Together, they created an institution that promotes the cultural and civic growth of its young citizens, and even of those not quite so young. Taking as its starting point the experiences of Tuscan factory workers arrested by Nazi-Fascists after the general strike in March 1944 and deported to the concentration camp of Mauhausen in Austria and its sub-camps of Ebensee, Gusen and Melk, the museum looks also at the story of millions of men and women, caught in roundups all over Europe, deported for racial or political reasons, according to the plan for the enslavement and annihilation of entire peoples set in motion during World War II by the Third Reich.
The visit to the museum has been conceived as a symbolic through a Nazi concentration camp. On display are original objects, and come from the camps and from the factories in the galleries that the prisoners themselves excavated in the mountains near Ebensee. Other exhibits are replicas, made because the few men who survived felt the need, after they returned home, to bear witness to the cruel treatment received in the camp and to the horrific conditions of slave labour. The visit includes written and oral testimonies and several documentaries on deportation.
In September 2010, a new and modern audio-visual exhibition titled "With my very eyes - voices and faces of survivors of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps" was inaugurated. The exhibition consists of seven videos with direct audio transmission to the headphones, which are distributed to the visitors. In the films, witnesses appear - Jewish survivors of the genocide and political prisoners (mainly from Tuscany), but also Romani people, homosexuals and Jehovah's witnesses - who report their experiences. The exhibition is segmented thematically into seven sections where the various aspects of the deportation (like arrival, life and death in the camp, selections and extermination) are illustrated.

Centre of Documentation

Il Centro di documentazione - panoramica

The upper floor of the museum building houses the Documentation Centre of Deportation and Resistance. Ever since it was opened, at the same time as the museum, the centre has collected and archived source material on the deportation to Nazi concentration camps, on the massacres in Italy and specifically in Tuscany, on Resistance movements against Fascism and Nazhism. The material is available both for scientific research and for educational activities. Paper and photographic documents, such as index cards, lists and correspondence of the WVHA [SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, i.e. Central Economic and Administrative Office of the SS], have been supplied mainly by the Federal Archives in Berlin and by the Mauthausen and Ebensee Memorial museums in Austria.
The Centre has also focused on gathering information material on similar research centres, associations and foundations, as well as on Italian and European memorial sites, establishing with them a fruitful cooperation. The centre has a conference and projection room. It offers scholars and citizens a specialist library with over 2000 volumes and with audio-visual material, all available for interlibrary loan. Three computer stations with internet connection enable visitors to search for information and documents. The room often hosts cultural events, such as meetings, book and film presentations, temporary exhibitions and small theatre performances.
This facility is a place of learning and coming together for those who wish to delve more deeply into issues of historical memory and its relevance to present-day problems and to social commitment.

Via di Cantagallo, 250 - 59100 Prato (Loc. Figline), Tel. + 39 0574-470728, Tel e fax +39 0574-461655