In March 1945, Fausto Pecorari and his companions reckoned in three currencies: “marchi” (money), “sigarette” (cigarettes) and “tabacco” (tobacco). They were the initiators of “Solidarity”, the aid committee of the Italian inmates in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Political inmates had already begun founding aid committees back in 1943 to organize donation campaigns for compatriots across the boundaries of religious faith and political sentiment. The committees also saw to it that care packages from the International Red Cross were shared with those who had not received one.

Fausto Pecorari and the others collected donations from the Italian inmates in the Large Camp of Buchenwald and distributed them among their fellow countrymen left to vegetate in the Little Camp. The measures did little to help in the situation of dire need. In the inhuman world of the concentration camp, however, they represented a small token of humanity.

(Michael Löffelsender)