Camp 52, Chiavari

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Warwick13, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    J5 Prime photos 7thJan17 514.jpg Sheila,
    Copy of my Dad's card. As you can see there is not much more information than his name (initial "N" instead of "M"), rank, his Army # , and his transfer to Lucca. However I obviously cut off the top of the card so didn't get the file reference etc.
  2. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Dany,

    It is interesting that you say that many of the files relating to the camp have been lost. When I visited the camp last September I didn't find a single file. Apart from the day book, which recorded the comings and goings of prisoners to the camp, the only information I saw was in the form of Index Cards (see above).

    Lt. Zavatteri, the adjutant at the time of the armistice, took away what I have always understood to be the entire collection of prisoner of war records on 9/10 September 1943 or thereabouts - before the Germans arrived to take over the camp. When Lt. Zavatteri died his son gave the material to the Communications Museum.

    I was accompanied by Lt. Filippo Zavatteri's son when I visited the museum - we have some mutual friends who have a house overlooking the camp. He explained the collection and at no time was it suggested that some of the cards were missing. I had no trouble in finding the soldiers I was looking for. I shall ask him what he has to say on the subject.

    All this makes me think that the missing files could be those kept during the period when the camp was used as an internment camp for political prisoners and Jews, that is, after 8 September 1943.


    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member


    Glad to see that you've joined in at this point. Were you led to believe on your visit to the Museum in 2017 that some POW information in the form of files was missing?

  4. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Hi, how are you?,
    As you know we were very late arriving at the museum and there was so much to see and it was a bit of a rush.
    However, like you, I understood that individual cards and the day book were all the documents that were there, and from my perspective that is a hell of a lot more than for the other camps that Dad was in.
    I am very grateful that we have two collections of artefacts from PG52 and the excellent guardians that look after them.
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  5. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    We're fine, thanks, Geoff.

    As to the material from PG 52 in the museum, it may be unique according to Andrea Giuseppini, owner of website
    Let's hope that Dany does find the card relating to Sheila's relative,

    Best wishes,

  6. Tom Hunter

    Tom Hunter New Member

    Hi everybody. First time post here after using it for much research. Based on everything I found I planned a visit to the little museum for PG52 in Chivari as part of my first-ever trip to Italy. Turned up at the School of Military Communications in Chiavari just last week and despite the fact that they usually require some written request (warning to future visitors, I had not expected that) they were kind enough to provide us with an escort who opened up the whole museum for the school, of which the PG52 section is just a small room.

    And there they were - all the index cards of the prisoners. And just a couple of minutes searching produced my Dad's card.


    Amazing. A lot more information on it than I have on his German POW card, which he uplifted after the Germans left town and before the Red Army turned up. As is usually the case the capture date is likely out by a day or so, but it's nice to finally have the precise date of his transfer to PG57 in the north of Italy.

    Wonderful feelings to touch this piece of Dad's history. Thank you to everybody upthread, and elsewhere on this site, who contributed the information that allowed me to get here. Thanks also to the great guys of the Italian military running the place: the gate guard, the commander who informed me of the usual written request, but who allowed us to visit it anyway and provided the escort, and lastly to our escort, Warrant Officer Venuto

    IMG_7861 2.jpg

    A great and wonderful day.
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  7. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Welcome to WW2 Talk.
    Forgive me for not being explicit that an appointment needed to be made when visiting the STELMILIT Museum in Chiavari. I was in contact with the commandant thru their website Contatti -
    about a month prior to our visit. The commandant at the time was a most gracious host, as were his staff.
  8. Tom Hunter

    Tom Hunter New Member

    Thanks Geoff. My heart dropped when he told me that, but he could not have been more kind in allowing us the impromptu visit and providing the escort. I must write them a thank you letter. They also gave me a business card for the place so I'll scan that and put it up on this website.
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  9. Tom Hunter

    Tom Hunter New Member

    BTW - I wrote all this up in a blog post for a blog that I'm an author for, one of several authors.

    No Minister: The Strangeness of History

    Ignore the comments if you like. Like all blogs we have some rather nutty people who comment there.
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  10. tedfromscrubs

    tedfromscrubs Junior Member

    Apologies if this has already been posted but I have just come across it online some rather wonderful illustrations by Trooper HOrace Wade held at Camp 52
    Campo 52

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