By: Marina Gomel
Another month in this place that is not so unknown, with people who are no longer so strange, with smells that are becoming customs, but always in a roller coaster of emotions. And if we have to talk about emotions, this month he crowned himself as the king of strong emotions. I had the opportunity, and the enormous pleasure, to be able to participate in the “Krakow” project, organized by Villa delle Rose, a project that was developed over a month, a month and a half, which gave me the opportunity to learn more about a subject as deep, strong and delicate as it is World War II (or Shoah), and mainly the concentration camps that had space in that period.
I think it’s important, in order to continue telling about the project itself, to make a brief summary of what has been seen. During six Monday, approximately, diverse questions of World War II were seen, mainly in Italian territory. The zone where Bolzano, Alto Adige or Sudtirol is located, was an area that was very affected by the authoritarian regime of Mussolini. Being a sector that previously belonged to Austria, what is sought mainly is “italianizarlo”: compelling to learn the language, school readings, customs, etc. The importance of this area was so great that even in front of “Villa delle Rose” there is a space that was a transit field, mainly transit to reach Auschwitz.
The project ends with a short and intense trip to Krakow. Two places in Bolzano are visited beforehand: the important museum of the Mussolini era in Italy, which is located below what was a fascist symbol and the Historical Archive of the Comune di Bolzano. In the latter we had the opportunity to see various belongings that the Jews carried within the fields: their clothes, the differentiation between people, letters, etc.
Then comes the moment of Krakow, where we had the chance to see and “live” everything that until now you imagined. There we went through what was the ghetto, the different Jewish temples, the museum of Schindler’s factory. And finally we visited what were two concentration camps: Auschwitz and Birkenau. I think there’s no way to translate into words what those places make you feel. They turn your guts. They manage to expel all the pain that comes from listening to the stories, seeing the photos, seeing the suitcases, the glasses, the dolls of people who were killed. And these days with that in your head, and there comes a moment, sooner or later, that you cry, of pain, of impotence, of resignation.
When we return from the trip, we participate in what is called the “Remember Festival” that takes place over a week with various spaces that deal with what happened in World War II. In this way, we participated in a concert by maestro Lotoro, who made a documentary about music in the concentration camps. I also had the opportunity to participate in the day of memory, where a commemorative event was held in front of the wall that belonged to the Bolzano transit camp, among other various activities. From these experiences I understand that this volunteering that I am doing is leaving me many lessons, many experiences, many people, and that allows me to analyze the things I live in a deeper, more intense way.