Fabbrica Olap

Factory belonging to the German Siemens group, it took part to the strikes of 1943 and 1944 and was also the place were the Gruppi di Difesa della Donna emerged.

The Olap factory has been part of the German Siemens group since the beginning of the First World War. The factory was located between piazza Piola, piazza Leonardo da Vinci and via Spinoza.

During the Second World War, the factory had 3,000 workers, 1,700 of which were women. The Olap was among the most important industrial complexes for its specific kind of production closely related to war: high-precision tools for radio and telephone devices. The factory gave a significant contribution to the Resistance with its acts of sabotage to war production, the introduction of weapons in the basements of the factory, strikes and illegal activities carried out mainly by women.

With food scarcity and the problems regarding heating and clothing getting worse, in the years following Italy’s entry into war, the first protests at Olap took place in the beginning of 1943, and culminated with the strike that took place on 24th March of the same year.

In the winter of 1943, within Olap, the Gruppi di Difesa della Donna lead by Elena Rasera emerged at Olap; they were in charge of distributing flyers and other kinds of propaganda. Elena Rasera, the partisan “Olda”, organized the strike of March 1944, that saw the participation of 500 women.

During the strike, after turning the power off, the women were the first to step outside, protecting the men who were more exposed to arrests and retributions.

Gilberto Carminelli was in the factory as well, a man who was shot in Cima di Porlezza on 21st January 1945 together with other five partisans.

After the war, the factory was moved to another place, while a supermarket was built in via Spinoza, where a plate on the wall commemorates the workers of the factory who died for freedom.


Roberto Cenati