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| Home | News | 70th anniversary of the Great Victory

70th anniversary of the Great Victory

14 Apr 2015

Minsk to host roundtable on Italian military internees in Belarus in 1943-1945

Minsk to host roundtable on Italian military internees in Belarus in 1943-1945

GLUBOKOYE DISTRICT, 14 April (BelTA) – A roundtable on Italian military internees in Belarus in 1943-1945 will be held in Minsk, Commercial Counsellor at the Italian Embassy in Belarus Ugo Boni said during a meeting with representatives of the Glubokoye District authorities and mass media in the town of Glubokoye.

The event dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has been organized by the Italian Embassy in Minsk and the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War.

The documentary "Soldiers of Mussolini. Someone Else’s War” made by the ONT TV Channel about the Italian prisoners of war during the German occupation of Belarus will be screened during the roundtable.

The roundtable participants will also discuss the project "Biographical directory of Italian military internees" implemented by the ANRP, the Italian national association of former POWs, military internees, veterans of the liberation war and members of their families. This is an electronic database that systematizes the information on the Italian military interned in the camps of the Third Reich from 1943 to 1945, and the soldiers who died in camps and who returned home.

 A roundtable on Italian military internees in Belarus in 1943-1945 will be held in MinskThe project aims to preserve the memory and to deepen the knowledge about the historical events, to overcome the prejudices and memories separating people for the sake of perception of history in a pan-European perspective. "The online archive about the Italian military internees will allow their families and descendants, teachers, researchers, students and other categories of citizens to obtain the information about the prisoners of war," said Enzo Orlanducci, Chairman of the ANRP.

Taking part in the roundtable will be Stefania Carnemolla, an Italian freelance researcher and journalist, Belarusian historians, journalists, and anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge on the causes and consequences of Nazism and fascism.

650,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Italy were captured, rounded up and deported to the territories of the Third Reich in the days immediately following the armistice between Italy and allied armed forces. Initially they were considered prisoners of war, but later they were re-designated as "military internees" by the Germans to deny them the rights granted to prisoners of war by the Third Geneva Convention. Finally, from the autumn of 1944 until the end of the war the Nazis branded them as "civilian workers" to subject them to hard labor without protection of the Red Cross. About 40,000 of them never returned home

The Italian delegation visited Glubokoye District on 14 April to attend the commemorative meetings at the burial sites of Italian citizens in the village of Orekhovno and the Borok area.

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