Risiera di San Sabba

Entrance to the Risiera di San Sabba memorial. The present museum was designed by Romano Boico and opened in 1975. The architect described his plans in a brochure available at the memorial. "The Risiera, half destroyed by the fleeing Nazis, was squalid, like its surroundings. I thought that this total squalor could rise as a symbol and itself become a monument. I decided to remove and restore rather than add. After removing the ruined buildings I demarcated the context with 11-metre high concrete walls arranged so as to form a disquieting entrance on the same spot as the existing entrance. The walled courtyard is intended as on open-air non-denominational basilica. The building where prisoners were kept was completely emptied and the load-bearing wooden structures pared down as much as seemed necessary. The seventeen cells and the death cell are unchanged. In the central building, level with the courtyard, is the Museum of the Resistance, minimal but alive. Above the Museum, the rooms of the Deportees' Association. In the courtyard is a terrible path of steel slightly sunken—the trace of the oven, the smoke channel and the base of the chimney."
Photo credit: Florida Center for Instructional Technology

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A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.