Moving away from the city

The work of the Provincial Office for Displaced Persons

In November 1943, the Provincial Office for Displaced Persons began its work, initially located in the premises of the De Amicis primary school and then in those of the Liceo Muratori (now Liceo Venturi), in Via dei Servi, 21. With the intensification of the bombing of Italy even Mussolini, in his speech on December 2nd, 1942, ordered the evacuation of the cities.

The first to evacuate were families, especially those from the city centre, who sought shelter in the countryside and small towns in the surroundings of Modena, places considered less exposed to the danger of air raids. Factories and public offices were also moved away from the city centre for fear of bombing and the authorities seized every building suitable for housing the headquarters of the main services. As the war front approached, displacement turned from ‘voluntary’ to compulsory, especially in some areas of the Apennines, where the military authorities ordered the population to leave their homes.