Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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Giovanni Palatucci remains Righteous

declares Yad Vashem

The controversy that followed the 2013 New York Times publication of the statements of the Primo Levi center that questioned the veracity of Giovanni Palatucci’s heroism during WWII has largely subsided. In fact, the Jewish Holocaust Memorial has reviewed the evidence on the actions of the Italian police and concluded that the police commissioner Palatucci with his uncle, Monsignor Giuseppe Maria, Bishop of Campagna, really saved the Jews.

“There is no new “fact" that justifies a revision of the recognition of Righteous Among the Nations awarded to John Palatucci ," announced Professor David Cassuto of the Commission of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. Holocaust historian and writer Roberto Malini stated: " The evidence is conclusive and numerous. Revisionism on the figures of the Righteous is a serious and incomprehensible phenomenon that negates the value of the testimonies and opens the door to denial. If one knows the protocols that Yad Vashem follows before recognizing a Righteous among the Nations, you know they are scrupulous and what evidence is needed before a decision is reached by the Commission.”

The case of Palatucci has quickly spread across many newspapers and has provoked a hot debate about historical revisionism. All in all, his rescue of one Jewish woman has been confirmed by the organization and his status as one of the Righteous is no longer in question.

Lucas Padovani

18 February 2014

In Yad Vashem

the first "Garden of the Righteous"

The Garden of the Righteous in Jerusalem was set up in 1962 at Yad Vashem's Mausoleum, the Holocaust remembrance place, in compliance with point 9 of its establishing law, approved by the Israeli Parliament in 1953, providing the following:

"Hereby the law establishes the Yad Vashem Foundation in Jerusalem, in order to commemorate (…) the Righteous among the nations, who have risked their lives to help the Jews."

To commemorate the Righteous among the nations they choose to plant carob trees. Hence the creation of the Avenue of the Righteous, that would later become a garden with the same name.
In 1963 the Israeli authorities set up the Righteous Commission to choose the people to bestow the honours on and dedicate the trees to. In its activities the Commission honoured nearly 20,000 Righteous.

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