1944.01.30 RSHA Convoy Milan - Auschwitz




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The exhibition has been designed on the occasion of the National Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005 in an open space about 800 square meters wide at the first floor of Palazzo della Ragione in Milan (XIII century).

It focuses on the story of one of the convoys  on which Italian Jewish citizens were deported from Milan Central Station to the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The display re-enacts the journey from Milan to Auschwitz and, more widely, a path through the persecutions that led to the extermination camp, so it suggests elements for reflection, awareness and memory transmission, in particular to students of primary and secondary schools.

The exhibition path is chronologically overturned: beginning from the "final solution", the visitors go backwards along the anti-jewish persecution during fascism, to the enactment of the laws for the "defense of race". Two spaces -one for individual and the other for collective reflection conclude the path.


The exhibition begins with an introduction space, which contains a 'wall of names', with the identification of the 605 deported, and an opposite panel reporting the story of some of the survivors.

A subsequent triangular space with sloping walls symbolically recalls the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, thematizing every wall: deportation-arrival, extermination, map of the Milan-Auschwitz trip, key data about the camp and the Holocaust.

One of the walls of this room stretches and obliquely crosses the main rectangular hall of the Palazzo della Ragione, divided into two bays by a sequence of high columns made of exposed bricks. This long oblique wall is a kind of slit in the space symbolizing the Holocaust and has the function both to separate and connect through some openings the open exhibition space with two projection rooms and the spaces for reflection (all located along the southern side of the building).

The continuous space of the exhibition is organized by the set up equipment of the northern wall of the building, including a sequence of articulated panels and niches which accommodate graphic materials, photos and videos, symbolically re-enacting the different stages of the journey back in time, through a sort of sequence space (from deportation to the enactment of anti-jewish laws). Computer stations for thematic research are also provided.

In addition to two projection and conference rooms with 30 and 50 seats, the set up of the great hall of Palazzo della Ragione includes a conclusive structure that, at the exit from the building, organizes a system of furnishings shaping the bookshop.


The whole display structure has been realized with wooden elements overlaid with construction axes with a burnt finishing, in order to achieve a mono-material gray-black structure, symbolically marked by history and able to dialogue with the "finding" represented by the imposing fourteenth-century brick shell of the Palazzo della Ragione.

RSHA Convoy

Technical drawings