Rudolf Bratuž

Rudolf Bratuž

RUDOLF BRATUŽ (1898-1982)

Rudolf Bratuž, a Slovenian from Gorizia, was interned in the Urbisaglia Bonservizi Camp from 29 April 1941 to January 1942. In the archive documents he appears with the name of “Rodolfo Bertossi” since in 1933 the Gorizia Magistracy required him to ‘Italianise’ your name (Cruciani, 40).

On 11 July 2011 the Urbisaglia City Council conferred honorary citizenship of Urbisaglia on their daughters Damjana and Bogdana Bratuž.

Go to Damjana Bratuž’s page dedicated to his father Rudolf.

Letter from Rudolf Bratuz from the Urbisaglia Camp

Urbisaglia Camp. Rudolf Bratuz is the first on the right.

My dear wife, my good daughter Damjana!
Now you must be happy, your father is the great lord; I am retired in a prince’s villa: I live in a small closet, perhaps it was the house of the servants. We are five.
We keep a small window closed at night because there is a danger that some big mouse will happen. It is on the second floor; the first entirely occupied by other gentlemen. Of Slovenian nationality there are 43 and about sixty Jews of German origin, all educated: engineers, doctors, professionals, people full of respect. The small corridor has three other small rooms and a toilet with sink; going down the concrete stairs you reach the other three toilets with bathroom … and four water plugs for washing. From here a long corridor with beautiful rooms, a dining room and magnificent entrance halls. There are several old color paintings; then in the porch there are also paintings of a garden.

The park is a dream. The singing birds, the trees of different qualities of various perfumes, plants, flowers, lemons in large pots, oranges; birds’ nests on the trees at my height and their eggs can be seen.
Around the park there is a wall and around the columns: it is something wonderful to walk in this park. Even a church. In ancient times it was a convent. From our room you can see the courtyard of the villa, all with porches. Near the garden there is still a convent of small friars who pray all day. In the garden also the game of bowls: they have done it now.
Roll call three times a day: the first at ten. Until then those who are armchairs can sleep and if they have a good friend they receive coffee and milk in bed; I wake up at seven. From tomorrow I will be doing gymnastics with Lupinc and with Dr. Bednarik. At eight, coffee and milk. At noon roll call and then lunch. Today a light minestrone… and potatoes with oil and vinegar.

For the service, and the table is covered with napkins washed every week, I pay 3.80 lire for week. Separately we make a little improvement of cheese or something, along with eight other gentlemen. This combines every week between us.
A crust of bread and wine to taste: however, you have to pay for this, so it is limited.
At half past seven it is dinner and at ten in the evening the roll call again. Concert every evening in the park; an accordion and a violin, then the choirs of Slovenian songs. Yesterday I also played my waltz and baby the polka; today i played a game of bowls. When we are in bed, a German gentleman comes and offers a glass of tea for 20 cents. So also in the afternoon. There are so many specialists, so nothing is missing.
To wash you give out: they charge 10 cents for a handkerchief, 70 cents shirt, 40 cents underpants.

As you can see, Damjana, the father is happy, but he wants the house and to work there to dare to rest for poor mother, for Milena and for all of you.
At this moment Bednarik came into the closet and is teaching German language and I am listening; there are ten who study.
Have you recovered Damjana? I sent Cici a small accordion for her birthday: I recommend that you keep it well and do not break it. The trip was good; only in Civitanova delle Marche a two-hour stop. It is a small citadel; much more beautiful is Macerata; only the narrow streets. Nice monument to Garibaldi and more to the Fallen.

Kisses to you and sister Ada