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Exhibition Planned on the Deportation of Jewish Children from Rome

Professor Umberto Gentiloni and Stefano Palermo from the University of Rome recently spent several days doing research at the ITS (International Tracing Service) archive for an exhibition they are planning next year in the Italian capital on the deportation of Jewish children from Rome between October 1943 and June 1944. “We want to tell the children´s stories, and we have found many interesting documents here,” said Gentiloni.

Among their discoveries were 20 photographs of children deported from Rome. “They are surely the only surviving images and usually the last trace of these children´s lives,” said the historian. Only a very few of the 200-300 children between the ages of 0 and 13 years survived the deportation to the Auschwitz extermination camp. “So far we have only found four,” confirmed Gentiloni. 2,000 Jews were deported from Rome during that time.   

The ITS child tracing service as well as correspondence with family members are important sources for the Italian researchers. “We also want to include the search for children after the end of World War II, which is not often considered, and we have found very moving letters here,” said Palermo. “Of course we are planning to do research at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and in Rome´s city archives, but our main source is the ITS.” It has not yet been decided which institution will present the exhibition, which is being supported by the city of Rome.