• Memorial Cemetery Kampor, Island of Rab
In 1953, the Kampor memorial cemetery was dedicated to the victims of the Kampor camp on the Adriatic Island of Rab, located in the Kvarner Gulf. Between 1942 and 1943, the Italian occupying forces held up to 15,000 people at the camp; about 2,000 perished.
Image: Rab, undated, View of the camp near Kampor, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije
Rab, undated, View of the camp near Kampor, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije

Image: Rab, 2005, Memorial cemetery, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Rab, 2005, Memorial cemetery, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
In early 1941, German troops and their allies occupied Yugoslavia. The occupiers divided the county among themselves, and the Adriatic coast was occupied by fascist Italy. The Italian authorities established several camps on the Island of Rab, just off the northern Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, from the summer of 1942 on. The prisoners held at the camps were mostly Slovenes and Croats suspected of being partisans - frequently entire families were imprisoned. The conditions at the camps were insufficient in all respects: the prisoners had to sleep in tents, food and drinking water were severely rationed. Presumably about 2,000 people died of illnesses and hunger during the one year in which the camp near Kampor was in operation. There were about 3,500 Jews among the prisoners, who were accommodated in a separate part of the camp. The Italian occupation authorities withstood German demands to hand over the Jewish prisoners - who would have been annihilated by the National Socialists - instead keeping them on the Island of Rab until the camp was dismantled. The camp was shut down in September 1943, following Mussolini's flight and the armistice between Italy and the Allies. The Jewish and Slovenian prisoners joined partisan groups and left the island heading for the mainland. About 200 elderly, ill and weak prisoners stayed behind. In late autumn 1943 they came under German occupation. In March 1944, the Gestapo arrested the Jews who had remained on the Island of Rab and deported them to the Auschwitz extermination camp.
Image: Rab, undated, View of the camp near Kampor, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije
Rab, undated, View of the camp near Kampor, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije

Image: Rab, 2005, Memorial cemetery, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Rab, 2005, Memorial cemetery, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Between the summer of 1942 and autumn 1943, about 15,000 people were held on Rab. In autumn 1942, there were about 10,000 prisoners at the Kampor camp. There is some uncertainty concerning the number of victims: according to some sources, 2,000 people died of the catastrophic conditions at the camp. Despite the high death toll, the camp on the Island of Rab was not a death camp. Though the conditions at the camp were terrible, many of the inmates - especially Jews - were saved from deportation by their imprisonment, since the Italians would not turn them in to the Germans.
Image: Rab, undated, Camp inmates, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije
Rab, undated, Camp inmates, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije

Image: Rab, 2005, Memorial plaque set up by the Italian »Fondazione Ferramonti«, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Rab, 2005, Memorial plaque set up by the Italian »Fondazione Ferramonti«, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
The Kampor memorial cemetery was designed by the Slovenian architect Edvard Ravnikar in 1953. There are several grave groups at the cemetery, an open stone hall with a mosaic and a stone column. The mosaic depicts the prisoners' lives. The Italian foundation »Fondazione Ferramonti«, which is dedicated to researching the history of Italian camps under Fascism, set up a memorial plaque with an inscription in Italian and Croatian on the cemetery wall in 1998. In 2002, a metal plate bearing the names of 1,433 victims of the Kampor camp was added to the complex. Behind each name is a five-pointed star as a symbol of resistance.
Image: Rab, 2005, Memorial hall with mosaic, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Rab, 2005, Memorial hall with mosaic, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel

Image: Rab, 2005, Metal plate with the names of victims, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Rab, 2005, Metal plate with the names of victims, Stiftung Denkmal, Christian Schölzel
Name
Spomen Groblje Kampor
Address
near Kampor
51280 Rab
Phone
+385 (0)98 368 500
Fax
+385 (0)98 368 500
E-Mail
info@croatia-rab.com
Open
From 10 a.m. till dusk