The Artifacts Collection
Artifacts in the Holocaust History Museum
Locket Holding the Photos of the Two Lovvy Brothers, who were Killed Defending their Homeland, Italy, During World War I
In 1943, the concentration camp “La Risiere di San Sabba” was set up in an abandoned factory outside Trieste, Italy. Held in the camp were partisans, political prisoners and Jews. In addition, the camp served as a collection depot for looted property. On their arrival in the camp, the inmates were required to give up their property prior to being murdered in the camp, or sent on to the death camps in Poland and Germany. The Nazis had all the personal effects sorted and catalogued, and each item was labeled and marked with its monetary value.
The items were then put into large sacks and sent on to Berlin. At the end of the war, five such sacks were found on a train captured by the Allied forces, and transferred to the Italian treasury. As no claim was made on the sacks, they remained in the treasury cellar for over fifty years.
In the 1990’s, the existence of the unclaimed property was brought to the attention of the secretary of the Jewish community in Trieste. After deliberation, the Italian government decided to transfer the property to the Jewish community in Trieste. The community donated fifty of the items to Yad Vashem.
One of these items is a locket with photos and an inscription that reveals a tragic story, commencing in World War I and concluding in World War II.
The Italian inscription on the locket reads (in translation):
Dr. Tullio Lovvy, son of Carlo & Linda Lattes, born in Genoa on 5/7/1891, an artillery officer who received the Air Force’s bronze medal. Died a hero’s death on 27/11/1917 on a reconnaissance mission over enemy lines at Val d’Assa.
Engineer Dario Lovvy, son of Carlo & Linda Lattes, born in Genoa on 12/11/1889, Captain of the 4th Engineers, platoon commander of the “Flamethrowers”. Died bravely on the Mrzli on 24/10/1917, in heroic defense of a position surrounded by the enemy. Received the silver Medal of Valor.
Research carried out at Yad Vashem brought to light the story of Carlo and Linda Lovvy, whose two sons, Tulio and Dario died “defending their homeland” during World War I as Italian soldiers. The grieving parents placed a stone memorial plaque with their portraits on the wall of the Jewish cemetery in Genoa. They also had lockets made with their portraits and an inscription similar to that which was engraved on the memorial stone.
Further research revealed that Tullio and Dario’s aunt, eighty-four-year-old Anna Lovvy Spiegel was deported to the La Risiere camp. Anna was arrested in Trieste on January 9th 1944, along with her son Felice, and the two were held in La Risiere until their deportation to Auschwitz on September 2nd 1944. In all probability, Anna Spiegel was the one who wore the locket with the portraits of her dear nephews who gave their lives for Italy, a locket that was taken from her before she was sent to her death.