Located 180 kilometres south of Tripoli, Jadu is the town where the Jewish community of Cyrenaica – deported by order of Mussolini – ran the risk of dying in a few months, from diseases, malnutrition and poor living conditions in a camp. In 1942, in just one month (from May 19 to June 21), 15 groups of Jews for a total of 2,527 people were deported with the accusation of “connivance” with the enemy. The camp, an old barracks, was controlled by the Italian authorities, with the presence of some German soldiers and the help of Arab askari.
Five hundred and sixty people, fewer than a quarter of the Jewish community of Cyrenaica, died in a few months from hunger, thirst, embezzlement and diseases. The crime was committed in an isolated place far from the public eye, against defenceless people, harshly oppressed by racial laws and weakened by war.
They would all have died from the typhus epidemic if the allied troops had not liberated the camp after the victory of El Alamein.
Translated by Antonella Losavio and revised by Oyebuchi Lucia Leonard, students at Trieste University and the Advanced school for interpreters and Translators of Trieste University, intern at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.