Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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A tree for Dr. Andrea Loriga

the medic from Binasco who saved a Jewish family

the stone in honour of dr. Andrea Loriga

the stone in honour of dr. Andrea Loriga

On Friday 22 April the City Hall of Binasco dedicated an oak to Dr. Andrea Loriga, who was recognised as a Righteous among the Righteous.

Loriga, born in Sassari in 1904, settled in the continent after his graduation in Medicine. He was a municipal doctor and medical officer in Binasco since 1938. In this municipality he would soon become well-known for his selflessness and generosity. He did his job very professionally and passionately, devoting himself very carefully to his patients and aiding the less well-off. A deeply religious man, he was a convinced anti-fascist and his hostility against the regime, publicly proven in July 1943m cost him a suspension from duty and a long series of interrogations and harassments by the fascist militia. Due to a lack of evidence against him, he was readmitted to his post in April 1944 and resumed his activity. An active member of the local branch of the CLN (the Committee of National Liberation), in September 1944 he took the family of Jewish lawyer Augusto Weiller into safety to Switzerland, as told by his son Guido in his book La bufera - Una famiglia di ebrei milanesi con i partigiani dell'Ossola (the Lightning - a family of Milanese Jews with the partisans from Ossola), Giuntina, Florence 2002. Tortured many times by the fascists, Loriga died in 1945, exhausted by beatings. 

Gino Porri, who had met the doctor, said about him: «He was an outstanding man, who loved freedom and men; therefore he was a staunch antifascist, because he could not stand abuse and violence and he proved that overtly. this is why fascists persecuted and tortured him many times after 25 July 1943. People like dr. Loriga must be remembered forever, above all in times of moral confusion like ours, because he must be proposed to the younger generations as a warning and an example to be followed».

The events concerning Dr. Loriga were retraced through documents and testimony by the Centro Culturale La Tenda, chaired by Vito Sperti, with the help of historian Prof. Alberto M. Cuomo. The same Cultural Centre advanced the proposal, then accepted by the City Hall, to dedicate an oak and a stone to the doctor from Binasco "to indicate his exemplary figure for future memory and to the attention of today's young people".

The oak was planted in a garden in the centre of Binasco, near the Monument to the Fallen. The ceremony was attended by the mayor of Binasco Riccardo Benvegnù, the president of the La Tenda Cultural Centre Vito Sperti, two citizens who had met dr. Loriga and are memory keepers in the small town, the Mayor of Noviglio Nadia Verduci, who wanted to be there to bring the support of her own community, the institutions, citizens and students of Binasco and Gariwo's director  Ulianova Radice.

29 April 2016

A tree for Dr. Andrea Loriga in Binasco

Gariwo with the Mayor, the institutions, the citizens and students of Binasco

Rescuers

whoever saves a life saves the entire world

In Yad Vashem's Memorial, in Jerusalem, the Garden of the Righteous remembers those who tried to rescue the Jews in the Holocaust: those who hidd them, helped them expatriate with forged documents, nourished them or gave them a job; those who, seeing them suffer, helped them somehow instead of remaining indifferent.In Yerevan's Wall of Remembrance the memorial stones remember the rescuers of Armenians during the genocide of 1915, those who tried to stop the massacre, refused to obey orders, sheltered children, reported the extermination that was occurring beneath their hopeless eyes to the world's public opinion.
In 1994 in Rwanda, some Tutsies who were hunted by the interahamwe militias were protected by neighbours, friends - some times strangers, too - belonginf to the Hutu ethnic group, who refused participating in the "man hunt" with machetes that had been planned by other Hutus to exterminate the country's Tutsi minority.
While ethnic cleansing was ravaging Bosnia leading to the murder of thousands innocent victims some people trying to escape the massacre were helped in the same way by neighbours, school mates, friends, or strangers, who were members of other ethnic groups.
Still todate, in many places in the world, there are such rescuers who risk and sometimes lose their lives in the attempt of helping the victims, and become victims themselves. Other times they lose their jobs, wellbeing, social status or they are imprisoned, tortured, cast out. At any rate, even before starting their endeavours, they know they run a serious risk, but they prefer doing so rather than bearing the weigh of remorse for remaining indifferent for the rest of their lives. Everytime by their action they "save the entire world", as stands in the Talmud.

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