Places of resistance

As part of Maria Eichhorn’s Relocating a Structure, tours will be offered twice weekly during the Biennale to monuments and places that commemorate the activities of the anti-fascist resistance and the deportation of the Jewish population.

Places of Remembrance and Resistance

Upon the announcement of the armistice on September 8, 1943,1 and the ensuing collapse of the Italian state, central and northern Italy were occupied almost without resistance by German forces, who had been preparing for this possibility for some time. In the north, the occupation lasted until the final days of the war in Europe. During this almost two-year period, every region and town developed its own unique equilibrium, shaped by local military, social, political, and economic factors. This was particularly true in Venice, the only city of its kind in the world: its historic center has remained largely unchanged for centuries, completely “afloat” in the lagoon and connected to the mainland by a single causeway for road and rail traffic.

Unlike World War I, this time, the city did not house any significant military targets and thus escaped tactical bombing by the Allies, who had also begun to take artistic heritage into account when planning strikes after the disastrous destruction of the abbey of Monte Cassino on February 15, 1944. The fact that Venice was considered safe from air raids led tens of thousands of refugees from all over Italy to seek shelter in the city. Its population therefore shot up, reaching more than two hundred thousand by the end of the war.2
People came for a wide range of reasons. Numerous public officials and civil servants relocated from Rome when government offices were evacuated in preparation for the Allied invasion,3 and many Fascists active in fighting the Partisans moved there to avoid reprisals when the areas where they operated (and often lived) were liberated by the Allies and by the Resistance. Large numbers of Italian residents from Istria and Dalmatia, forced to leave their homes due to the painful and complex events unfolding on the eastern border, also arrived in Venice. These circumstances overlapped to create a city where Fascists, German troops, Partisans, and potential victims of racial and political persecution all crossed paths in a constant struggle for survival.

The Venetian Resistance was well aware that it was operating in a hostile context. Venice was an essentially sealed-off sphere, with only two possible ways out of the city (the Santa Lucia train station and Piazzale Roma, where car traffic stopped), which were both carefully monitored. Moreover, the presence of refugees aided the work of spies and informers, always eager to pick up rumors and sell them to the Fascist militias and to the Gestapo. This led the Partisans to develop a particular strategy aimed at avoiding violent attacks insofar as this was possible, focusing instead on sabotage, anti-fascist propaganda, collecting information useful to the Allied command, and, of course, preparing for the insurrection, when the Venetian Resistance would fight out in the open to take over the city and ensure its survival.4

Amid this extremely chaotic, constantly evolving situation, there was also Venice’s Jewish community. Firmly rooted in the Ghetto for over four hundred years and fully integrated into city life, its survival was threatened for the first time. Mass arrests in December 1943 marked the beginning of the Venetian chapter of the Holocaust, with the deportation of 246 people, most of whom would never return from the death camps.5

Occupation, resistance, and persecution all left their mark on the city.6 The purpose of the following texts is to reveal a few of these traces, some almost hidden, others intentionally commemorating that time. Horrific though it was, the war laid the foundations for Italy’s democratic and social resurgence as it emerged battered and exhausted from two decades of Fascism and two years of civil war.

Texts: Giulio Bobbo

1 Through the Armistice of Cassabile with the Allies, the Kingdom of Italy broke away from the alliance with Nazi Germany.

2 See Giulio Bobbo, Venezia in tempo di guerra, 1943–1945 (Padua: Il Poligrafo, 2005), 430.

3 Regarding the relocation of Fascist government institutions to the north, see Marco Borghi, Tra fascio littorio e senso dello Stato, funzionari, apparati, ministeri nella Repubblica sociale italiana, 1943–1945 (Padua: CLEUP, 2001).

4 Giuseppe Turcato, the main organizer of Partisan activities in Venice, later collected eyewitness accounts of the Resistance in the city. See Giuseppe Turcato and Agostino Zanon dal Bo, eds., 1943–1945, Venezia nella Resistenza: Testimonianze (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1976).

5 For a history of the Jewish community under the race laws and during the Holocaust, see Renata Segre, ed., Gli ebrei a Venezia, 1938–1945: una comunità tra persecuzione e rinascita (Venice: Il Cardo, 1995).

6 A full map of all sites connected to the Nazi occupation and the Resistance can be found on the Iveser website: https://www.iveser.it/risorse-on-line
/luoghi-della-memoria.
.

Tour A
Jewish Ghetto

For over five centuries, the Ghetto has been the heart of the local Jewish community. When the Republic of Venice fell in 1797, the neighborhood ceased to be a place of segregation, but it continued to play a significant role in the cultural and religious identity of Venetian Jews.

The advent of the Fascist racial laws in 1938 came as a shock to the community, which had fully assimilated into the social fabric of the city but now found itself marginalized and stripped of rights. Many adults lost their jobs, while schoolchildren and university students were expelled overnight.1

The situation, already difficult due to these restrictions, suddenly became critical when German troops occupied the city in September 1943, following the armistice. The first sign of looming tragedy came on September 17 with the suicide of Giuseppe Jona, the president of the Jewish Community Council of Venice, who chose to kill himself rather than obey the Nazi order to hand over a list of registered members.2

The first major roundup came less than three months later, on December 5, 1943. Organized by the Germans and carried out by Italian police, it led to the arrest of over two hundred Jews living or staying in Venice. Some were imprisoned in the Ghetto before being sent to the Fossoli transit camp. The next destination was Auschwitz. In a second series of arrests, between August and October of 1944, elderly residents were pulled from the retirement home and patients were taken from the Ospedale Civile and the San Servolo and San Clemente asylums. Of approximately 250 Jews deported from Venice, only eight made it back.

In the area around the Ghetto are several monuments dedicated to Holocaust victims, including L’ultimo treno (The Last Train) (1979) by Arbit Blatas, bearing the names and ages of those deported for their race. Stolpersteine have also been laid in front of the retirement home and at the last chosen address of individual victims.

1 For a history of the Jewish community in this period, see Renata Segre, ed., Gli ebrei a Venezia, 1938–1945: Una comunità tra persecuzione e rinascita (Venice: Il Cardo, 1995).

2 A stone plaque commemorating Giuseppe Jona’s sacrifice can be seen on the facade of the Jewish retirement home in Campo del Ghetto Nuovo.

Tour B
Santa Lucia Station

Given Venice’s unique position, entirely surrounded by water and connected to the mainland only by a causeway across the lagoon, the Santa Lucia train station was of great strategic importance during the Nazi-Fascist occupation, when the scarcity of fuel and the danger of Allied air raids made all other forms of transport difficult and dangerous. The station thus became an obligatory stopover for anyone wanting to enter or leave the city. For the Resistance, this posed all kinds of risks; if the Fascists and Germans were tipped off that a suspect might be passing through, all they had to do was wait. Nonetheless, it was in this very area that the first underground activity against the occupation began, organized by an unusual figure, Bartolomeo Meloni.

Meloni was a chief railway inspector for the Venice division, a prestigious post that he had held for more than sixteen years, and a role which could have sheltered him from the general insecurity that plagued so many Italians at the time. Despite this, even before the armistice, Meloni had contacted representatives of the anti-fascist parties in Venice. When the Germans took over the city, he immediately set to work helping the many Italian servicemen trapped there, getting them onto trains and dropping them off on the mainland, where they had a better chance of making it home. Along with other railroad employees, Meloni also took part in sabotage operations, working to slow the convoys of Nazi troops and supplies moving from the Brenner Pass toward the front in southern Italy.

Unfortunately, Meloni’s work was so constant and effective that it caught the Gestapo’s attention. On November 4, 1943, he was arrested and placed in an isolation cell at Santa Maria Maggiore prison. Along with his collaborator, Lindoro Rizzi, Meloni was later deported to Dachau, from where he never returned.1

A monument to Meloni, Rizzi, and other railway workers who died in the struggle for liberation can be seen on track eight of the Santa Lucia station.

1 For Meloni’s full story, see Rita Arca, Notte e nebbia a Dachau: Bartolomeo Meloni tra storia e memoria (Ghilarza: Iskra, 2021).

Tour B
Santa Maria Maggiore Prison

Under authoritarian regimes, prisons have always been symbolic places embodying the political and social repression of dissidents and marginalized groups. Santa Maria Maggiore prison, just a short walk from Piazzale Roma, also saw hundreds of political prisoners and victims of racist persecution pass through its gates, often on the first steps of a tragic journey that led to the camps and to death.
In the early weeks of the Nazi occupation, the prison’s cells began to fill with figures tied to the Venetian anti-fascist movement: in some cases (like that of the future Communist mayor, Giobatta Gianquinto), these were preventive arrests and the prisoners were later released, while others, like Bartolomeo Meloni and Giordano Bruno Rossoni,1 were less fortunate.

The horrific first raid on the city’s Jewish community in December 1943, after which hundreds of Venetian Jews were marched to the prison,2 marks a particularly dark chapter. They were followed, in later months, by individuals or families arrested after tip-offs from informers and investigations by the German police.

Almost all of the Partisans killed in the reprisals that took place in the summer of 1944 came from Santa Maria Maggiore: first, the thirteen prisoners shot by the Republican National Guard in the ruins of Ca’ Giustinian, then all of the seven executed on Riva dell’Impero (renamed Riva dei Sette Martiri, “Waterfront of the Seven Martyrs,” in their honor).3 In the final days of the war, the prison played a key role in saving Venice. On the evening of April 26, 1945, taking advantage of an air raid alarm, the political prisoners—aided by a few guards—took over the prison, setting in motion the uprising that allowed Venetian Partisan forces to liberate the city before the arrival of the Allied troops.4

1 Rossoni had been dropped off in Venice with a radio to allow communication between the Resistance and the Allied command in southern Italy.

2 2 Analysis of prison records has made it possible to draw up a list (though still partial) of individuals held there for political or racial reasons. For further information, see https://www.iveser.it/attivita
/progetti-ricerca/registri-matricola-carcere-1943-1945.

3 Regarding Partisan operations in the summer of 1944, see Giulio Bobbo, Venezia in tempo di guerra, 1943–1945 (Padua: Il Poligrafo, 2005), 279–371.

4 Ibid., 438–41.

Tour B
Stazione Marittima (Port and Terminal)

Venice built its wealth around maritime trade, so it is unsurprising that the port is one of the city’s most important pieces of infrastructure.

In the period following its annexation by the Kingdom of Italy, from 1869 to 1880, a large port area for both cargo and passenger traffic was constructed behind the Santa Marta neighborhood. Over the course of World War II, the number of ships passing through Venice was greatly reduced due to the conflict, but the port continued to be of vital strategic importance. This became tragically clear in the weeks following the German occupation, when dozens of seized vessels arrived carrying Italian troops captured in the Balkans, who were to be loaded onto trains for concentration camps in occupied Europe.

The rumor that hundreds of Italian prisoners were being held on the ships and at the terminal quickly spread through the city, and many residents did all they could to help their imperiled countrymen. Some went out on small boats, smuggling food and water to the soldiers trapped on the ships,1 while other courageous souls managed to sneak into the port and help prisoners escape with forged papers.2 This was one of the first forms of popular resistance to the German occupation.

During the final days of the war, the port, once again, played a vital role in the battle for liberation. In the middle of the uprising, German forces tried to implement their infamous scorched-earth policy and destroy key parts of the city before retreating. However, their attempt was foiled by Partisans from the Biancotto Brigade who prevented the explosives from detonating, keeping their city intact until the fighting was over.3

1 They included the Partisan courier agent Ida D’Este, who composed a poem about those difficult times. See Ida D’Este, Un gruppo di giovani che attendono dal cielo, in 1943–1945, Venezia nella Resistenza: Testimonianze, ed. Giuseppe Turcato and Agostino Zanon Dal Bo (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1976), 507.

2 See Giulio Bobbo, Venezia in tempo di guerra, 1943–1945 (Padua: Il Poligrafo, 2005), 72–73.

3 Ibid., 447.

Ospedale Civile (Hospital)

Even today, the Ospedale Civile, located in Campo S.S. Giovanni e Paolo at the entrance to the bustling Castello district, is the largest healthcare facility in the historic center of Venice. Due to the hospital’s key role in the life of the city, many events connected to the political and military upheavals of the time unfolded within its walls.

It was from the “penitentiary” ward, allocated to treating detainees from the prison, that several Jewish patients were dragged away in a final roundup to be deported to the death camps. On October 7, 1944, a total of twenty-nine patients were pulled from their beds at the Ospedale Civile and at the San Servolo and San Clemente asylums. They were loaded onto a convoy which, after stopping in Trieste, took them on to Poland.1

A few members of the Resistance were also in the hospital, watched over by Fascist guards. A shrewd plan was devised to save one of them. On October 5, 1944, the hospitalized prisoner Angelo Morelli was freed by three staffette from the Biancotto Brigade. While visiting the sick man, one of the women offered his guards a sweet that had been laced with sleeping pills so that Morelli could later slip away.2

During the crucial period of the uprising at the end of April 1945, several Fascists tried to seize Partisans being held as patients, intending to use them as hostages amid the chaos. This attempt was foiled by a Partisan contingent that occupied the hospital and forced the attackers to flee.3

1 Renata Segre, ed., Gli ebrei a Venezia, 1938–1945: Una comunità tra persecuzione e rinascita (Venice: Il Cardo, 1995), 160–61.

2 Giuseppe Turcato, Un condannato a morte è fuggito, 5 ottobre 1944, in 1943–1945, Venezia nella Resistenza: Testimonianze, ed. Giuseppe Turcato and Agostino Zanon Dal Bo (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1976), 243–49.

3 See Terisio Pignatti, L’opera del Comando Piazza del CVL nella liberazione di Venezia, in La Resistenza nel Veneziano, ed. Giannantonio Paladini and Maurizio Reberschak, vol. 2 (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1985), 350.

Campo de la Celestia (School for Mechanics)

The military collapse after the armistice had dire consequences not only for members of the armed forces but also for the entire population of Italy. People of all ages, who up until this point had barely been affected by the war, suddenly found themselves in difficult and often dangerous situations. Such was the case with the marinaretti1 of the Celestia.

The Royal School for Mechanics and Machinists was founded by the Regia Marina2 at the former Celestia convent (next to the Arsenale) a few years after Venice was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy (1866). Its purpose was to train young lads who could then enlist in the navy as specialized mechanics. In the difficult social conditions of turn-of-the-century Italy, this was a valuable opportunity for many boys, who came to Venice from all over the country to receive an education with full room and board.

The story of the school ended abruptly amid the general confusion following the armistice, when two German E-boats sailed into the lagoon and easily took control of the city.3 Upon showing up at the school, the Germans decided that the students—who wore uniforms similar to those of naval personnel—should be captured as enemy fighters and sent to the camps. The commander of the school tried to explain that his boys were minors and had not received any formal military training, but to no avail.

The students were escorted out of the school by German guards and taken to Santa Lucia station. A few managed to flee en route, but many were loaded onto trains headed for occupied Europe, and not all of them made it back. A plaque in Campo de la Celestia commemorates the school and its last marinaretti.

1 Meaning “little sailors,” this nickname referred to the fact that the young students were dressed like naval personnel of the era.

2 The “Royal Navy,” i.e., the Italian navy from 1861 to 1946.

3 See Emilio Bagnasco and Fulvio Petronio, “Una incredibile ‘crociera di guerra’ in Adriatico,” Storia Militare 4 (January 1994): 11–18.

Tour C
Arsenale

Under the Republic of Venice, the Arsenale in the Castello district was the heart of Venetian maritime power. Its strategic importance as a military base gradually dwindled over the course of various foreign occupations and through the early twentieth century. However, at the time of the armistice in September 1943, it still held a degree of value as a shipyard where the Italian navy’s smaller vessels were maintained, and it continued to employ hundreds of arsenalotti, the workers who had been building and repairing ships there for centuries.1

Due to the confusion and military anarchy that followed the announcement of the armistice, the first German naval units to arrive in Venice on September 11 were able to occupy the Arsenale without any resistance. In the days just before their arrival, weapons and ammunition had been smuggled out of the complex for the first Partisan groups that had formed in the mountains. The Arsenale was also the source of the explosives used to destroy the headquarters of the National Republican Guard in Venice,2 again with the collaboration of the arsenalotti, who were mostly fervid anti-fascists.3

Gaining possession of the maritime complex, the most important military site in the historic center of Venice, was fundamental to the success of the Partisan uprising aimed at liberating the city from the Nazis and Fascists. So on April 28, 1945, the ancient walls of the naval base witnessed a series of clashes between the Germans, who were trying to destroy equipment and stockpiles of munitions, and Partisans from the Biancotto Brigade, who were determined to prevent this.4 By the afternoon, an Italian flag was flying over the left tower, signaling that the Nazi troops had been driven out and that the Arsenale (along with the rest of the city) had been saved.

1 See Giulio Bobbo, Venezia in tempo di guerra, 1943–1945 (Padua: Il Poligrafo, 2005), 66–67.

2 The Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana, the Fascist political police force that had replaced the Carabinieri after the foundation of the Italian Social Republic.

3 See Cesco Chinello, Giovanni Tonetti il “conte rosso”: Contrasti di una vita e di una militanza (1888–1970) (Venice: Supernova, 1997), 48.

4 See “Diario storico della Brigata ‘Francesco Biancotto,’” in La Resistenza nel Veneziano, ed. Giannantonio Paladini and Maurizio Reberschak, vol. 2 (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1985), 402.

Tour C
Riva dei Sette Martiri

On the night of August 1, 1944, a sailor of the Kriegsmarine (the German navy), posted to keep watch on one of the ships anchored by Riva dell’Impero,1 vanished without a trace. Given the Allied advance toward northern Italy at the time, Resistance fighters throughout the country had been increasingly active, leading the Germans to assume the guard had fallen victim to a Partisan attack.

The Nazi authorities, who in Venice normally let the Fascists of the Italian Social Republic deal with Partisan attacks, decided to handle this situation themselves, and organized a reprisal.2 On the night of August 2, German troops cordoned off the area around Via Garibaldi in the Castello district, immediately behind where the attack was believed to have occurred. Hundreds of residents were woken up, pulled from their homes, and forced to stand on Riva dell’Impero.

At dawn, a boat arrived with seven prisoners who were to be shot: they included Alfredo Vivian, a Partisan commander and veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and the brothers Alfredo and Luciano Gelmi, residents of Trento who had evaded the German draft.

Following the executions, all of the male residents aged between sixteen and sixty who had been rounded up that night were sent to Santa Maria Maggiore prison, where they were held as hostages. A few days later, the sailor’s body was discovered in the lagoon, and an autopsy revealed that he had fallen into the water while intoxicated and drowned. The hostages were all released.

1 Built as part of Giuseppe Volpi’s urban renewal project, this stretch of waterfront opened in 1937 and was named after the “empire” that Italy had conquered in 1936 after its second war with Ethiopia.

2 For the full story of the reprisal, see Giulio Turcato, “Plotone di esecuzione sulla Riva dell’Impero: 3 Agosto ’44,” in 1943–1945, Venezia nella Resistenza: Testimonianze, ed. Giulio Turcato and Agostino Zanon Dal Bo (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1976), 235–42.

Tour C
Monument to the Partisan Woman of Veneto
(Leoncillo)

The struggle for liberation, from 1943 to 1945, in many ways marked a turning point in Italian society. This was not only asymmetric warfare aimed at liberating the country from the Nazis, but a movement that wanted to radically transform the political and social structure of a nation emerging from twenty years of Fascist dictatorship. One of the most important developments in this period concerned the role of women in modern society.

For the first time, female Partisans and staffette1 actively participated on an equal footing with male Partisans, challenging the assumptions of the patriarchal system that had previously held sway. In 1953, the Istituto per la storia della Resistenza delle Tre Venezie, a research institute headed by Egidio Meneghetti,2 decided to erect a monument to the women of the Resis-tance. A commission was set up, and the project was entrusted to the Tuscan sculptor Leoncillo.3

The commission rejected the first copy of Leoncillo’s glazed ceramic sculpture of an armed female Partisan because of her red kerchief, which seemed to suggest a specific political party. A second copy was placed on a concrete pedestal designed by Carlo Scarpa and unveiled in the Giardini della Biennale on September 8, 1957.4

However, this placement was short-lived. On the night of July 27, 1961, a bomb set by neo-fascists completely destroyed the statue.
The City of Venice later decided to purchase the first copy (still in Leoncillo’s studio) and display it inside the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art, where it can be seen today. Scarpa’s pedestal, which survived largely intact, remains installed at the original site.

1 The term staffetta (courier) was used to describe a female Partisan who was primarily responsible for serving as a liaison between Partisan groups, delivering weapons and other materials, and providing other forms of support, especially in cities and towns where women could move around more easily than men because they were not in danger of being stopped as draft evaders.

2 Meneghetti, who was himself a Partisan, had been arrested and tortured by the Fascists of the Banda Carità. After the war, he composed a poem, “La partigiana nuda” (The naked Partisan), which describes the suffering of Partisan women captured by the Fascists.

3 Leoncillo Leonardi (1915–1968), who worked under the name Leoncillo, was also a Partisan. After the war, he addressed the Resistance in a number of his artworks. He died in Rome at the age of just fifty-two.

4 For the complete story of Leoncillo’s monument, see Maria Teresa Sega, ed., La partigiana Veneta, arte e memoria della Resistenza (Portogruaro: Nuovadimensione, 2004).

Tour C
Monument to Italian Military Internees and Prisoners of War

One of the many tragedies that followed the political and military collapse of September 8, 1943, was the odyssey of the “Italian military internees.”1

Immediately after General Badoglio announced the armistice, the Germans launched Operation Achse, with the goal of taking over all territory then under Italian control, both in the country itself and in areas occupied by its forces during the war. Within about ten days, a relatively small number of German troops had succeeded in this task, occupying the Italian peninsula as far south as Naples and capturing over eight hundred thousand Italian soldiers.2

It was an entire army that ended up behind barbed wire, and when the war ended, it began straggling back to Italy from all over the world.3 The Associazione Nazionale Reduci dalla Prigionia (ANRP), a veteran’s association for former internees, was immediately founded in order to identify prisoners of both factions and help them obtain the scanty aid that could be offered by a nation still reeling from the war.

In 1950, the Venetian section of the ANRP presented the design for a monument to those who died in prison camps. It was to be placed in the Giardini della Biennale, which since the nineteenth century had been the primary location for the city’s civic and patriotic monuments. Describing the mythological figure depicted in bas-relief on pietra d’Istria stone, the creators of the monument explained: “Prometheus, chained to the rock by Jove for stealing fire from heaven, symbolizes the defiant will that refuses to accept any form of tyranny: it prefers suffering and death.”4

The concept was developed by Angelo Forcellini Merlo, president of the Venice ANRP, and Angelo Franco was commissioned to make the sculpture. A public fundraising campaign paid for the construction of the monument, which was unveiled and donated to the city on September 30, 1951.

1 Often abbreviated to IMI, this was the term used by German authorities to deny former Italian soldiers the status of prisoners of war, and thus the protection of the Geneva Convention and the Red Cross.

2 More than 600,000 Italian soldiers were transferred to prison camps in occupied Europe. For the story of the IMIs, see Gerhard Schreiber, I militari italiani internati nei campi di concentramento del Terzo Reich, 1943–1945: Traditi, disprezzati, dimenticati (Rome: Ufficio Storico SME, 1992).

3 In addition to approximately 600,000 IMIs who ended up in Germany, one must keep in mind the 520,000 prisoners of war captured by the Allies and held in Great Britain, the U.S., and the Soviet Union.

4 For the story of this monument, see Regina Bonometto, Giardini di memorie. Recupero della memoria storica: Giardini di Castello (Venice: Editore Filippi, 2008).

Tour C
Monument to the Partisan Woman (Murer)

The Fascist bomb that destroyed Leoncillo’s monument dedicated to the Partisan women of Veneto in 1961 was an outrage that could not be ignored. The city government decided to dedicate a second monument to the women who had fought for liberation in the region.

After viewing a number of sketches, a special commission comprising representatives from various city institutions (including Partisan associations) decided to assign the job to Augusto Murer,1 a sculptor from Cadore who had made several monuments to the Resistance in Veneto and elsewhere.

The sculpture, unveiled on Liberation Day, April 25, 1969, shows a lifeless woman with bound hands, stretched out in front of the lagoon on a metal and stone base designed by Carlo Scarpa. The concept alluded to an intimidatory practice often employed by the Nazis and Fascists as a warning to “rebels”: the body of a murdered Partisan would be thrown into the river where it would float downstream and be seen by as many people as possible, before being lost at sea without burial.2

Murer wanted the statue, set on a metal platform meant to serve as a raft, to always be floating on the water’s surface. However, this mechanism never functioned properly, and the figure is either covered or exposed by waves, depending on the tide.

1 Murer, born in Falcade in 1922, fought in the Resistance around Belluno with the Fratelli Fenti Brigade. After the war, he was a successful sculptor and printmaker, known for the expressive power of his works. He died in Padua in 1985.

2 This treatment of dead Partisans is depicted in the final episode of the movie Paisà, directed by Roberto Rossellini in 1946. A group of Partisans and Allied soldiers near Porto Tolle recovers a floating body (bearing a sign that reads “partigiano”) and gives it a proper burial.

City Tours by Giulio Bobbo and Luisella Romeo

As part of Maria Eichhorn’s Relocating a Structure, tours will be offered twice weekly during the Biennale to monuments and places that commemorate the activities of the anti-fascist resistance and the deportation of the Jewish population. The first guided tour will take place on April 28, 2022, to mark the seventy-seventh anniversary of the Allied liberation of Venice on April 28, 1945, from the German occupation. The city tours are organized in collaboration with the Istituto veneziano per la storia della Resistenza e della società contemporanea (Iveser) and are conducted by Giulio Bobbo and Luisella Romeo.

Most tours will be in English (or in Italian if requested by the entire group of participants).
The tours with the indication “italiano“ will be in Italian.
Participation is free.
Current COVID-19 regulations will apply.
If you have any questions about the tours, please send an e-mail to tour@deutscher-pavillon.org.

Tour A
Jewish Ghetto

Tour B
Santa Lucia Station
Santa Maria Maggiore Prison
Stazione Marittima (Port and Terminal)

Tour C
Arsenale
Riva dei Sette Martiri
Monument to the Partisan Woman of Veneto (Leoncillo)
Monument to Italian Military Internees and Prisoners of War
Monument to the Partisan Woman (Murer)

May
26 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
31 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
June
7 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
9 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
14 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
16 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
21 Tue 16:00
Luisella Romeo A
23 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
28 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
italianoit This tour will be in Italian
Book
30 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
July
5 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
7 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
12 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
19 Tue 16:00
Luisella Romeo B
21 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
26 Tue 16:00
Luisella Romeo A
italianoit This tour will be in Italian
Book
28 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
August
2 Tue 16:00
Luisella Romeo B
4 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
9 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
11 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
16 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
18 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
23 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
25 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
italianoit This tour will be in Italian
Book
30 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
September
1 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
6 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
italianoit This tour will be in Italian
Book
8 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
15 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
20 Tue 16:00
Luisella Romeo A
22 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
27 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
29 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
October
4 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
6 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
11 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
13 Thu 16:00
Giulio Bobbo C
18 Tue 16:00
Giulio Bobbo B
20 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
25 Tue 16:00
Luisella Romeo A
27 Thu 16:00
Luisella Romeo C
italianoit This tour will be in Italian
Book
November
1 Tue 15:00
Giulio Bobbo B
3 Thu 15:00
Giulio Bobbo C
8 Tue 15:00
Luisella Romeo B
italianoit This tour will be in Italian
Book
10 Thu 15:00
Luisella Romeo C
15 Tue 15:00
Giulio Bobbo B
17 Thu 15:00
Luisella Romeo C
22 Tue 15:00
Giulio Bobbo B
24 Thu 15:00
Giulio Bobbo C