What is the Memorial

The Milan Shoah Memorial stands in an area of the Central Station that was accessed directly from Via Ferrante Aporti (now Piazza Edmond J. Safra), located below the ordinary railroad tracks and originally used for loading and unloading mail cars. Between 1943 and 1945 from this location, away from prying eyes, hundreds of deportees, mostly Jews, were forcibly loaded onto freight cars. These, once filled, were lifted one at a time by a dumbwaiter between tracks 18 and 19, just outside the large canopy of the passenger station to form convoys bound for the concentration (Bergen Belsen, Mauthausen) and extermination (Auschwitz-Birkenau) camps, or the Italian camps of collection and sorting (Fossoli, Verona, Bolzano).

The Memorial, the site of the Shoah and political deportations, was inaugurated on January 27, 2013. It is unique in Europe in that it has remained substantially intact from how it originally was. It was designed by Morpurgo de Curtis Architetti Associati with the aim of creating a space that would pay tribute to the victims of extermination and Nazi-fascism and also represent a living and dialectical context in which to actively reframe the tragedy of the Shoah.

The Memorial Foundation

The Shoah Memorial Foundation was established in 2007; the final design, by Morpurgo de Curtis Architetti Associati, was unveiled in 2008. The laying of the foundation stone of the Memorial took place on January 26, 2010.

Since its opening in 2013, despite its closure for the 2020/21 pandemic, the Memorial has hosted an estimated 350,000 visitors (two-thirds of whom are young students).

In the spring of 2022, the Memorial project has been completed with the relocation of the CDEC (Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center Foundation) and its extraordinary library open to the public and scholars as well.

The public now has the opportunity to enjoy a spacious study facility, including the library, the lecture hall and the Agora, an evocative place for meeting and dialogue. 

The synergy between CDEC and the Memorial aims to give back to Milan a renewed place, where it is possible to experiment and offer transversal content, which starts from historical research and arrives at a debate on contemporaneity. This is a remarkable example of collaboration between an institution that represents in Milan the symbolic place of Memory and the main research center on the history of Jews in Italy.