© Manca Juvan
                                                                                                                                                                            
 A silver spoon holds war memories of a nurse Martina Košak (1911-1997). Among them dreadful memories of inhumane conditions at the nursery of the Italian fascist concentration camp on island of Rab. 

Because a nurse, Martina Košak was immediately appointed to an improvised nursery in a building at the time known as the outhouse of Hotel Kontinental. "She was in charge of children. They were laying on the floor. She said it was horrendous. As a woman and as a nurse she should be helping people, being children or adults, but she had nothing to help with," said Mr. Herman Janež, an internee himself, who became a custodian of the spoon.
"There was no water, no paper to put under those children who all had terrible diarrhea.  Warms grew under their bodies. There were no clothes. She told me the experience was so horrible for her that as a woman and as a nurse she couldn't withstand it," Mr. Herman Janež conveyed.
From collected memories, it became known that first babies who were born in the concentration camp Rab were delivered under tents. The nursery didn't improve the conditions. Chances of survival for babies born in the camp were close to none. 

After the war Ms. Košak made a research whether any babies born on Rab have survived. She found four Slovene women, one of them was Marija Mohar who died in 2011. Mr. Janež, who was also researching the issue, found nine men. According to a list of internees on Rab created by Mr. Janež, at least 163 children under the age of fifteen died during the internment. 
Researchers and historians estimate that the annual mortality rate in the Rab camp was higher than the overage mortality rate in the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald. 
Concentration camp on Rab was operating from July 1942 to September 1943. 


Concentration Camp Rab: Courtesy of a Slovene National Museum of Contemporary History






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