The history of Italian concentration camps during the Second World War has long been removed from the nation’s collective memory. The same is true for colonial camps and prison colonies. These topics - out of line with the historical interpretation of the recent past that took hold in Italy post World War II - were smothered by the common interest and by other academic interests; even the camps were left unprotected and unrecognized: they also paid the price of oblivion. Any historical reconstruction of the "system" of fascist concentration camps has called for lengthy and laborious research. This essay does not pretend to be an exhaustive treatise on fascist camps, nor a comprehensive synopsis of the studies dedicated to them. Its aim is rather to resuscitate a slow passing; to identify the social and historical phases which - between the mid-1980s and the first decade of the twentyfirst century - led to a recollection of the camps, to collective awareness and institutional recognition.
Keywords: History of fascist internment camps, memoirs of Italian concentration camps, sites of memory, fascist repression of dissent, Italian war crimes, fascist concentration camp universe