The Nazi Occupation of Trieste

After the Armistice of 8 September 1943, Trieste was occupied by the Nazis and passed under the authority of the German civil administration, having been incorporated into the newly established Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral (Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland), headed by the Gauleiter of Carinthia, Friedrich Rainer (1903-1947).

 

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“Parade in Trieste…” (from the left, Odilo Globo─Źnik, Higher SS and Police leader of the Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral, Friedrich Rainer and the Generals Ludwig Kübler and Harry Hoppe at the parade honoring  Hitler’s birthday (20 April 1944)
Source: “Adria Illustrierte”, 6 May 1944

By January 1944, more than 232 Jewish people had been arrested in Trieste and most of them were sent to extermination camps (Auschwitz in particular). Up to the end of the war, their number amounted to more than 700. An additional 300 individual deported as "Jews" did not actually belong to the Jewish community. Only 30 returned.

All of the assets of the Jewish community were confiscated under a 27 January 1944 act: these included the synagogue, the buildings that had hosted the via del Monte school, the Jewish cemetery and asylum, and several residential buildings. Immediately afterwards, during the month of February, detailed inventories were prepared. According to Giuseppe Fano, president of DELASEM, the House of Emigrants on via del Monte 7 was occupied and used as headquarters and lodgings by the SS Command, while the entire DELASEM archive and all the furnishings in the buildings used as Nazi offices were vandalized and dispersed. However, documents currently preserved by the Jewish community show that many furnishings and office supplies were taken to the port on 31 March 1944, after the via del Monte building had been damaged. These were sold to Nazi departments.