8th Dachau Contemporary Witness Discussion with Riccardo Goruppi

The Italian contemporary witness Riccardo Goruppi was the guest of the Dachau Concentration Camp on September 26. An audience of 80 gathered to hear more about Riccardo Goruppi’s life story.

Riccardo Goruppi is born in January 1927 in Prosecco near Trieste. As German troops occupy Italy in September 1943 he joins the partisan movement. Riccardo is betrayed while recuperating from an illness at his parent’s home in November 1944. Together with his father Eduardo, who wishes to help his son, Goruppi is first detained in Trieste’s Coroneo prison before being sent to the Dachau concentration camp in December. From there the SS transfers them three weeks later to Leonberg, a subcamp of Natzweiler. They are forced to work under catastrophic conditions in armaments production for Messerschmitt. Fully exhausted from the strenuous work, hunger, torture and illness, Eduardo Goruppi dies on February 20 1945. Shortly after Riccardo contracts typhus. He loses consciousness and first comes around again while being transported to the Dachau subcamp at Mühldorf. From Mühldorf the prisoners are taken to Kaufering ten days later. As the Allies approach the SS disbands the camp and on April 29 jams the prisoners into the open-top cars of a goods train. Because a German Army train is stationed on the adjacent track, near Schwabhausen the transport is inadvertently targeted in an air raid. Riccardo Goruppi survives and is liberated by US soldiers. He can first return home after spending months in hospital. Today he still lives near Trieste and is active in an honorary capacity at the Risiera di San Sabba Memorial Site in Trieste. Riccardo Goruppi is married, has a son and two granddaughters.