Cycling to Israel, following the path of Jewish orphans of “Sciesopoli”

This year “the holocaust memorial cyclist” Giovanni Bloisi has gone on a journey which started from the facility that had housed hundreds of Jewish children that survived the Shoah during the years 1945-1948.

Giovanni Bloisi in viaggio verso Israele

Giovanni Bloisi is cycling from the province of Bergamo to Israel, following the path of the “children of Sciesopoli”: the Jewish orphans coming from every part of Europe who had gone through Italy to reach the new Jewish country, Israel.

In the last years “the holocaust memorial cyclist and loner traveller by bike” Giovanni Bloisi made different long distance journeys by bike in order to be on history’s trail  of the first and second World War, leaving from Varano Borghi.

“I’m on the committee ‘Salviamo Sciesopoli, Selvino, Bergamo’, an old abandoned facility built by Mussolini, where (after the fall of fascism, editor’s note) 800 Jewish war orphans, coming from concentration camps and forests of all Europe, had been housed from 1945 to 1948.” After stopping in Bullona farmstead (Magenta), the orphans had been housed in Servino and, when the conditions were opportune, they had made alyah, the immigration to Palestine, Eretz Israel.

“The committee wants to make this old facility come alive again in order to create the greatest holocaust memorial museum of Europe. Among different initiatives, there is my idea of following the same route the children of Selvino had done to reach Palestine. The itinerary will pass through all the holocaust memorial places cycling to Brindisi. And there, I will board a ferry to Greece as the children did and then arrive to Israel where there will be a welcoming committee for me, with the partnership of the Italian embassy in Israel,” said Bloisi.

The journey is 2360 km long. It started on 19th March from Tradate (a city that supports the project with the sponsorship of different cities, the Province and Anpi). When arriving in Israel, Bloisi will visit on 24th April Yad Vashem museum and then reach Tze’elim, the kibbutz that had housed the group of children passed through Selvino and Sciesopoli.

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