We arrived here awares to find a surreal atmosphere, but it is impossible to hide the circumstance that only a place as this one can cause strong emotions that marks yourself inevitably.

The Italian presence at Neuengamme can be estimate around 4.000 people, around 1000 of them died at the Neuengamme` s concentration cam or in the satellite camps.

This researching work has not the pretension to assume absolute certainty, but it is opportune trying to report the experiences of some Italian prisoners, only in honor of the truth and nothing else!

We hope that who will come after us can continue in that research to get Italian witness of this black page stronger and full.

by Mario Siviglia and Saverio Gatto





Sergio De Simone was born in Naples on 29 november 1937. The anti-jewish laws of 1938 and the father Enrico’s leaving for war world two induced his mother Gisella to come back home in Fiume. In a first moment life runned in peacefull, then jewish children have been expelled of school and aldult jewish people has been forbidden working. An Gestapo’s informer made an end of  freedom of Sergio, his mother, his grandmother Rosa, his cousins Andra and Tatiana and his Aunt Mira.
They were deported to Risiera di San Sabba prison and from there to Auschwitz on 29 march 1944. There, his grandma Rosa has been despatched directly to the gas-rooms, Sergio, his mother, his cousins Andra and Tatiana worked up Birkenau on foots. All they have been marked with a number.  Sergio became the number 179614!

At the same night Sergio and his cousins have been separated by their mothers and they despatched to the children’s barrack. The name of Sergio appears in a rare medical report signed by Dr. Josef Mengele, it is a quite important document because it confirms the presence of “Bullenhuser Damm’s children” at the Birkenau camp. Sergio never came back from that hell, in fact he probably has been deceived by Mengele who, a morning, went into the children barrack and say:

<< Who wants to see mummy makes a step in front of me >>.  Sergio De Simone will be one of the twenty murdered kids in Bullenhuser Damm and there commemorated with a roses garden.


In Birkenau camp usually jewish children was killed at their arrive, but a few if them, how in the case of Sergio were despatched to a proper barrack called kinderblock. One day twenty of these children, ten males and ten females, have been taken on November 1944. These children, attended by the doctor Paulina Trocki, travelled to Neuengamme into a normal passenger train and they arrived there on 29 november 1944.

On 9 january 1945, the doctor Kurt Heissmayer arrived at Neuengamme to do his experiment about TBC, the aim of these experiment was that to create antibody and preparing some kind of vaccine.

To follow this aim the nazi-doctor used children as medicine-animals, in fact he put into their bodies the TBC bacillus and after some time he operated surgery the children to remove them the glands of lymphatic system for checking if the lymphatic system produced antibodies.

Two French prisoner doctors Gabriel Florence and Renee Quenouille have been forced to help him in this useless and disastrous experiment, but in that moment british troops were too close to the Neuengamme camp and it was necessary deleting all proofs.

The ca mp commander Max Pauli appointed the SS Anton Thumann and the doctor Alfred Trzebinski about this delicate mission.

Children, the two French prisoner doctors, six Russian prisoners and two Dutch nurses were carried on a truck.

The vehicle went to Hamburg at Bullenhus Damm school, meanwhile transformed in a prison, and the SS Arnold Strippel took command of mission.

Prisoners have been carried into the school’ cellar and the doctor Trzebinski injected them morphine to fall them in sleep. When children falled in unconsciousness state, they were hanged on the wall!

Then the two French doctors, Dutch nurses and Russian prisoner were hanged too. Meanwhile another 24 Russian prisoners have been carried to the school, six of them got to run away and the other 18 were hanged also!

In the end at the sunrise of the 20 April 1945 have been counted 48 dead bodies and between them there was the little Sergio De Simone!

He, and others children off course, has been witness about one of most horrible “medical science” page written on the Nazi period, accounted as behind this horror pharmaceutical industry’ business is hide, cause they often financed directly these horrible experiments.

Now I must say that during my experience in Neuengamme the strong moment for me has been when we visited this school in Hamburg. I cannot to hide that when we planted a rose in the school’s garden my heart, and other people also, was crying!


At the end want to finish remember a very brave person, in fact maybe the event of the 20 children would be unknown if a Danish doctor, called Henry Meyer, did not give the children’s list to the Red Cross. I think that every body has to say Thanks to him!



Ida Desandre, Aosta Italy, 10 October 1922.

She been arrested in July 1944, arrested by the fascist, locked in the barracks of Aosta, military barracks, and then in prison of Aosta. Later she went to Turin, in the new prison, passing through San Vittore in Milan, and then she was transferred to Bolzano. Afrter she taked to the field concentration of Bolzano, left for Germany. The first place she ever been in Ravensbruck in the field of, in the Ravensbruck camp she did quarantine. Then later. She was transferred to a work camp, located in the town of Salzgitter-Bad Neuengamme, and she stayed in this area until mid- April, from Mid- April she was transferred again and she ended up in the field of Bergen Belsen.

Ida Desandre was deported to concentration camps because the September 8 there was the defeat of the Italian Army, and she with her husband participated in the Resistence.

She started from Turin, from the prisons of Turin and Milan and loaded on trucks, or the way she did walk to he platform from wich all trains were leaving they brought in Germany.

Her car was a wagon that could hold up 40 people but were more than 100 people, all women, elderly more or less.

She remember that the Transport was then stopped at the station in Innsbruck in the evening, at sunset because and remember perfectly the rays of the sun disappearing behind the mountain. In Innsbruck she had sent down, mostly to send in the toilet, and then immediately gave us back on the train. The train has not stopped more. Many years have passed. She did not remember the other stops, however, aften five days and five nights of travel she arrived at Ravensbruck.

Arrived at Ravensbruck in a sinding – because the track came up there -. She had sent down and put in columns five to five.

A Rayvensbruck went to work, went on the side where there was this pond, there were load of sand on the large trucks, there trucks were placed on the rails, and she had to load, fill these trucks, push, empty, he was certainly a unnecessary work, but even this way to take away our strength, to weaken and make us understand that in fact we were there to suffer here.

In Ravensbruck  camp were all women: young old in short there was a bit of everything, but only women. This field has also been made of experiments on prisoners, experiments also very terrible. What has been  done to she, as so many others, were removing the menstrual eyele, and they put on a table and you were injected directly. A very irritating liquid: this liquid has taken menstruation. From that time until the doctor SS went home, even a period of time after they returned home. She had not had my period. Depriving her, in fact, the menstrual cycle- this way a very serious problem for women- but the Nazis knew very well the consequences of all this because they said she were likes slaves, and slaves are reproduced too quickly, as the mice, so certainly in this sense in seeking a way to eliminate the most people possible. Even for us, we could not procreate maybe more, have more children. This she tink was the purpose of this experiment, and also especially to see the affect on women, removing the menstrual cycle. The effect was then that our bodies are full of two big pimples: pimples away full of pus. And  even the lice head are perfectly accompanied with pimples. In addition to the experiments, then, the selections she chose to take outside the camp of Ravensbruck.

She was chosen to go to work in a factory. In another camp in a field of work, a field called these circles, the shape of the bomb. She did three rounds, she worked from morning, from six am to two or from two to 10 pm, and the night shift.

From Salzgitter (a subfield of Neuengamme) she was transferred because the front was advancing. In a miserable night they made us leave the barracks with horrible screams, and even club and we were loaded into trucks, she have taken away, she suffered a terrible bombing and of a course after this bombardment she had to continue on foot. Following all these miles on foot to arrive in camp Bergen Belsen, she was so thirsty. Lots of thirst, suffer thirst is a very bad thing and hunger. She had with her a piece of bread, a small piece of bread, she not eat because the bread would last her more, she continued to lick all the time we walked. As she entered the camp of Belsen, she was approached by a prisoner who had a bit of water into the bowl that we called the Minska, and made me sign that if she gave that piece of bread, she would leave a sip of water. In the field there was nothing that worked, there was no water, give no more to eat, Nothing, The bodies were all around the field. Corpses piled up, piles and piles of corps.

She was liberated by British Troops on 5 May. She was still several days in this area because the situation was so chaotic, that would also arrange to evacuate the area. The first people who were moved out of the field the people who almost of the prisoners who were almost the last stage. Children were taken away, because there were children and young girls in there.

She was, however, until September, when they returned.

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