Accession Number: NEKHC:2010.8

Object: Declaration

Category: Victoria Ancona-Vincent; The Victoria Ancona-Vincent Collection; Italy; Fossoli Transit Camp; San Vittore Prison.

Physical Description: Paper and ink, has been taped. Discolouration, tearing edges. Fragile.

Information on Item: This declaration forms part of the Victoria Ancona-Vincent Collection. It is signed by the Director of San Vittore Prison, Milan, and is part of the proof Victoria obtained of her experiences and captivity during the Holocaust. The document contains details of Victoria's detention in the prison, confirms the identity of her father, and confirms she was sent on to Fossoli Transit Camp.

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This declaration belonged to Victoria Ancona-Vincent, Victoria was born on 26 June 1923, in Jerusalem and is the youngest of nine siblings. Her mother, Nezhah, died shortly after Victoria’s birth. The family celebrated the Jewish holidays and moved around for Victoria’s father’s work, in 1937 Victoria was located in Milan, Italy. On 9 November 1943, Victoria was arrested by the Gestapo and taken to San Vittore prison, Milan. From there she was transferred to Fossoli Transit Camp and from there taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Killing Centre, arriving in May 1944. Victoria was forced to move in what became known as ‘Death Marches’, and held in further camps, before taking her chance to escape from a Death March on 22 April 1945. She endured much hardship over the following days, reaching Cottbus after twelve further days of walking. There, at a camp for ex-internees run by Soviet forces, Victoria received what little help there was, although she was seriously ill. Eventually Victoria returned to Milan and on 26 September 1945, Victoria returned to San Vittore prison, Milan, in order to gain proof of her captivity there under the Nazi regime. This declaration is what Victoria was provided, and is signed by the director of San Vittore prison. It confirms Victoria's status as a former prisoner of the SS. The writing reads 'We declare that Miss Victoria Ancona, daughter of Saul, has been detained in this prison, from 9 November 1943 to 15 May 1944, at the disposal of the German SS, for political motives and for being Jewish, and from here was sent to Fossoli. The above as per register. The Director.'