Under fascism Italy experienced one of the darkest moments in its LGBT+ history. Hundreds of homosexuals (almost exclusively men) were arrested, put on a register by the Ministry of the Interior, and sent to internment camps.
This is the story of the ‘arrusi’. Forty-five gay men from Catania, arrested in 1939 and sentenced to 5 years confinement on Puglia’s beautiful Tremiti islands, unwittingly creating Italy’s first openly gay community.
Detainee’s Residence Permit
Each detainee was given a “residence card” that must always be carried. It was a red notebook in which personal data and the rules to be followed during detention are set out.
Every morning, when the barracks are opened, the prisoners are required to present themselves, dressed and ready, to answer the roll call. There is a second roll call a few hours later, to which a third roll call is added in the afternoon in the eight hottest months of the year.
At all times they must have with them an identification document issued by the Police, called their “residence card”.
“— La città e l’isola: Omosessuali al confino nell’Italia fascista di Gianfranco Goretti, Tommaso Giartosio
Stazione 8 | Confinement Begins
Stazione 9 |