Kenya

MEMORIAL PLACES

The Italian Sacrary in Nyeri and its memories

A place to remember our compatriots in Est Africa

21-12-2021 by redazione

Nyeri is a small town about two and a half hours' drive from Kenya's capital Nairobi, perched on one of the hills that surround Mount Kenya.
Here, at one thousand eight hundred meters, in the midst of a tidy green that recalls European landscapes and where even the people seem to be aware of it, stands a place of memory for thousands of Italians.
The Military Shrine of the Italians of Nyeri, built by the Italian government between 1950 and 1952 on land offered in concession by the Consolata Missions, houses the remains of Duke Amedeo D'Aosta, commander of the troops that surrendered to the British army on the Ethiopian mountains of Amba Alagi, and 700 other Italian prisoners who from 1941 to 1946 were held in 15 camps in East Africa and mainly in Kenya and had already been buried in 25 war cemeteries scattered throughout the country.
Inside the shrine you can read the names of soldiers who lost their lives during captivity, after being deported and forced to do hard labor and conditions at the limit of human endurance, including infectious diseases, insects and animals, poor food and zero hygiene.
The Duke of Aosta himself, although kept in a particular prison, the Macmillan castle near Thika, already suffering from tuberculosis, will die of malaria.
The Shrine of Nyeri, in addition to preserving and displaying the tomb of the Duke inside the church and the tombstones of fallen prisoners, hosts once a year the ceremony of remembrance presided over by the Italian Ambassador in Kenya.
Next to the church, there are also graves that commemorate the Muslim ascari who were taken prisoner together with the Italians and deported.
Recently, on the initiative of the Comites and thanks to the recommendation of the historian and expert on Italian prisoners in East Africa, Aldo Manos, a piece of monument made by prisoners of war from the Thika camp, depicting scenes of war in Ethiopia, was transported to the shrine in Nyeri. The monument, weighing 12 tons, had already been dismantled and would have disappeared if, thanks to the initiative of some compatriots, it had not been transported to Nyeri. The shrine is easily accessible from the center of Nyeri, taking the road to Nyahuru-Nanyuki and turning left twice before going down to the crossroads. At some point you will see obvious signs.
Alternatively, just ask about the Consolata missions and you will get there.
 

 

TAGS: prigionieri kenyaduca aostaitaliani kenyanyeristoria kenya

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