Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Selected records from the Archivio di Stato di Lecce

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.141.1 | RG Number: RG-40.041

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward


    Records concerning the discrimination and persecution of foreign and Italian Jews in Italy in the community of Lecce. The archive contains relevant documents within the Prefettura and Questura, e.g. concerning the census of Jews, 1938-1942 and the Displaced Persons camp in Santa Maria al Bagno, 1943-1947.
    inclusive:  1939-1947
    Collection Creator
    Prefettura di Lecce
    Santa Maria al Bagno (Concentration camp)
    Santa Maria di Bagni, the largest DP camp in southern Italy, housed 2,300 Jewish refugees at its peak in early 1946. The exclusively Jewish camp was dispersed over three sites in requisitioned villas in the fishing village of di Bagni. Like other DP camps in southern Italy, di Bagni received an influx of Jewish refugees after the UNRRA dissolved the illegal "Betar" group kibbutz, and introduced a highly organized and politically active subpopulation into the camp. Di Bagni’s population rose from 771 in March 1945, to 2,277 by January 1946, making it the most influential of the southern Italian DP camps. The camp served as the administrative center for many illicit Israeli immigration schemes and on April 11, 1946, the camp committee organized a 2,000-person hunger strike in protest of British limitations on immigration to Palestine. "It is the foundation of rights of humanity for everybody to have the possibility and the right to return home," the di Bagni committee wrote to British authorities. The camp committee disseminated information to DPs by posting a weekly World Bulletin, culled from American and British radio news, that was distributed among the four southern Italian camps.

    With 258 children aged ten to eighteen in March 1946, Santa Maria di Bagni had a sizable youth population, and two schools were established in the camp. A semi-independent kefar ha-noar (youth village) hosted classes, sports, work, and lectures solely for youth, achieving remarkable progress despite a lack of supplies, books, and games. In addition, approximately 20 students attended nearby Italian schools. Adult education at di Bagni included classes in Hebrew and English, as well as training in tailoring, cutting, and electrical science. The camp theater group performed "on a very high level" according to the Joint, which praised the dramatic troupe as the model for other Italian DPs. The camp's "Macabi" sports team held several matches with Italian teams in nearby Lecce. A kosher kitchen accommodated the camp’s orthodox Jews, while the Joint supplemented the rations provided by the UNRRA and the IRO to make the refugees’ diets adequate. [Source: USHMM article]

    Physical Details

    1,547 digital images.
    System of Arrangement
    Arranged in three series: 1. Census of Jews in Lecce region between 1938-1942; 2. Local administration and implementation of demographic and race matters; 3. UNRRA refugee DP camp in Southern Italy in S. Maria del Bagno.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations. No other access restrictions apply to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No publication on the Internet or other public domain without the written permission from the General Directorate on Archival Assets, Italy. No copies of the records should be given to 3rd party users without the consent of the source. The Museum will ensure that researchers acknowledge in writing that use of microfilmed documents is governed by the Berne Convention, article 10, and in accordance with Italian legislation. Persons or institutions wishing to use records for commercial purposes should obtain prior consent of the General Directorate and pay applicable copyright fees in accordance with the Italian law no. 4 of 1993.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Holder of Originals
    Archivio di Stato di Lecce
    Source of acquisition is the Archivio di Stato di Lecce, Italy (State Archives of Lecce). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the collection via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archives Program in May 2018.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-23 10:27:01
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us