Ardeatine massacre, the platform ViBiA
as another tool of remembrance

In collaboration with the Museum of the Liberation of Rome in via Tasso, in 2016 the University of Rome Tor Vergata created and launched the virtual platform ViBiA (Virtual Biographical Archive) with the aim of learning more about the stories of the 335 victims of the Ardeatine Caves Massacre. Before the commemoration at the entrance of the caves where the Nazi criminal Erich Priebke and his minions carried out the massacre, a meeting was held at the Historical Archive of the Presidency of the Republic to discuss the platform, the scientific findings, and the strategies through which they will be shared with a non-specialist audience.
ViBiA currently counts more than 13,000 documents and 500 selected historical objects. The comparative method, furthermore, has allowed to individuate the names of six victims who had so far remained unknown. Among them, Marian Reicher, a Polish Jew, and of Heinz Eric Tuchman, a German Jew, were officially identified in 2020. They both had fled their countries hoping to find safety in Italy, but they lost their lives on March 24, 1944.
“Each name is associated with a fate. And each of these fates still raises questions to this day,” said the German Embassy’s representative Andreas Krüger at the inauguration. The initiative is led by the University Professor Alessia A. Glielmi in partnership with the Historical Archive of the Jewish Community of Rome and the CDEC of Milan. “We have to keep the memory of each life alive in order for every individuality to be preserved, enhancing a culture of remembrance and promoting the use of the platform for education and information purposes,” exhorted Krüger. “History, justice, remembrance” are the key words of another conference that took place at the Center for Defense Higher Studies, on the initiative of the Shoah Museum Foundation. Through an historiographical, juridical, archival and cultural reflection, the objective is to make a useful contribution of knowledge for a contemporary discourse on remembrance.

Translated by Marta Gustinucci, student at the Secondary School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste, intern at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities – Pagine Ebraiche.