web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Rescuing A Vital Piece of 20th-Century Jewish History


Rosh Hashanah greetings from Sciesopoli, 1947.

Rosh Hashanah greetings from Sciesopoli, 1947.

Nothing is taught in the local schools and no memorial plaque is in place, despite the fact that one had been unveiled in 1984. The epic of the young Jews who resided between these walls has essentially been erased from public consciousness.

Selvino was an important place in the history of the Bricha, the underground effort that helped survivors escape post-World War II Europe, and Aliyah Bet. A significant number of displaced youngsters passed through Sciesopoli and Selvino. They were survivors of the European catastrophe, and only those still alive can tell the story.

In recent years the subject of the illegal immigration through Italy to Palestine between 1945-1948 has aroused the interest of some scholars and as well as Jews searching for their roots and information about their relatives’ activities after the war.

Today, Sciesopoli is a privately held property owned by a real estate company. Efforts have been made to sell it but the municipality has imposed an injunction, claiming the former retreat center has a “collective and social purpose” and insisting that if Sciesopoli is rebuilt it must either serve the public or bring in tourists. We fear this would put to rest the historic chapter of the rescue and rehabilitation of child survivors of the Holocaust.

There is a lot of work to be done in Selvino, such as adding the story of Sciesopoli to the local school curriculum, affixing a plaque at the site to commemorate the story of the surviving children and their counselors, installing adequate road signs directing people to the grounds.

These goals certainly are attainable, both from an economic and a bureaucratic perspective. However, time is crucial as the Children of Sciesopoli are in their twilight years and many are no longer with us.

The suggested sale and/or demolition of Sciesopoli, which was mentioned during our visit, shocked us. Given the immense significance of this institution, we feel strongly – and are supported on this by historians, social and psychological researchers, and human and social rights activists – that part of the premises should be dedicated to housing a museum of European rescue and Aliyah Bet, while the rest could be developed as a guest house, thus becoming a source of income that would contribute to the sustainability of the museum.

We are looking for support from the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, the Italy-Israel Foundation for Culture and the Arts, the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Joint Distribution Committee, ORT – as well as anyone who finds this project important for present and future generations.

We would appreciate suggestions and constructive ideas. Please contact either mcavallarin@gmail.com or miriambisk@gmail.com.

About the Author: Dr. Marco Cavallarin is a Milano-based historian, researcher and filmmaker specializing in the history of illegal immigration to Mandatory Palestine and the Bricha movement. He was assisted in writing this article by Miriam Bisk.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Rescuing A Vital Piece of 20th-Century Jewish History”

  1. I BELIEVED IN THE HISTORY OF THE ISREALIATE

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
B'Tselem ran a campaign this summer attacking Israel for its actions when searching for the missing Israeli teenagers. They called the campaign, "Hitching a Ride."
Israeli AG: Anti-Israel NGO Can Utilize National Service Volunteers
Latest Indepth Stories
champions

A., a teacher: “I do not know a single Gazan who is pro-Hamas at the moment, except for those on its payroll.”

terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

obama

Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).

Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

More Articles from Dr. Marco Cavallarin
Rosh Hashanah greetings from Sciesopoli, 1947.

In Selvino they discovered a paradise they could not have imagined.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/rescuing-vital-piece-of-20th-century-jewish-history/2014/01/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: