Ilaria Renzi, Le dinamiche di gruppo nei campi di concentramento nazisti: il Molise (pdf)
[Group Dynamics in Nazi Concentration Camps: The Region of Molise]
During 1939 was identified a list of municipalities which belonged to Central and Southern Italy and which had little importance for military strategies. These municipalities were far enough from war-relevant zones and were designed to the interment of foreign and italian (considered “inferior”) war prisoners. One of these municipalities was the district of Campobasso (which now is the main city of the region Molise but belonged, at that time, to the region of Abruzzo). Among the municipalities of the district of Campobasso were chosen 6 locations: Agnone, Boiano, Bonefro (never active), Casacalenda, Isernia and Vinchiaturo. Between 1940 and 1943, 292 Jews were locked up in buildings, former convents, private houses requisitioned for the purpose of their conversion in concentration camps.
These prisoner were subjected to strict surveillance by the police and rigid administrative rules: they couldn’t leave town confinement; they could not discuss politics; they had to strictly respect entry and exit hours, keep a good conduct and not arouse suspicion, and their correspondence was subject to strict censorship. The food was administered by people outside the camps, in return for money.
The direction of the concentration camps was entrusted to commissioners of public security mission, supervisioned by police officers which were charged of surveillance and accompaniment of prisoners during walks allowed within the designated perimeter.
In the female camps, the male director was accompanied by a female director, which was usually a local person not employed in government, but with an active role in organization of the fascist party. She was in charge of direct surveillance of female prisoners and responsible for their compliance of requirements and prohibitions.
One of the purposes of surveillance by the agents was to avoid excessive familiarity and solidarity relationship between the prisoner and inhabitants of the place: for the sake of morality, it was necessary that these relationships were prevented, and in the case, interrupted with the transfer of the prisoner in other camps.
Despite these limitations, the locals were receptive to prisoners, helping them whenever possible.
The article then reported evidences of Jews confined in Molise, in the period after the armistice of September 8, 1943, in nazist concentration camps.