Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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Oddo Stocco, parish priest at San Zenone degli Ezzelini 1892 - 1958

the priest who saved the lives of 50 Jews with the help of the whole village

Article published on 5 May 2008 in the Canadian newspaper The Daily Gleaner, reported to us by Antonio Busatto

In the 1940s, the community of San Zenone degli Ezzelini, in the province of Treviso, guided by their priest Mons. Oddo Stocco, hid approximately 50 Jews in their homes, thus saving them from deportation to the Nazi death camps. The article includes the testimony of Esther Bem, who recalls fleeing from Yugoslavia when she was 11 and finding shelter with her family in San Zenone, under the protection of the local population.
In 2007 the people of S. Zenone conducted historic research to reconstruct this story with documents and eye-witness accounts.

historic research (in Italian)
The Daily Gleaner article (from Canada)

Righteous among the Nations in the Holocaust

remembered in Yad Vashem's Garden of the Righteous

In the 50es, the State of Israel established Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's Mausoleum to remember the victims of the "final solution" planned by Hitler. At the beginning of the 60es, the "Righteous Commission" was established, with the task of bestowing the title of "Righteous among the Nations" on the non Jews who rescued Jews during Nazi persecution. Inside Yad Vashem the "Garden of the Righteous" with an avenue in which every tree is dedicated to a different Righteous, was set up. Over the past year, due to a lack of room, the trees were replaced with the carving of the Righteous' names into the walls enclosing the garden.
The Commission, chaired for nearly 30 years by the judge of the Constitutional Court Moshe Bejski, has recognized and documented until now about 20,000 Righteous. Out of them we picked some.
Nonetheless, as Bejski used to recall, the Righteous are many more than that and the duty of the Commission is that of identifying and awarding them before the passing of time makes the pieces of testimony and the other documental evidence of their rescue deeds vanish. The Italian case shows that this concern of Bejsky was well-founded: the high number of Jews who escaped the "final solution" is not compatible with the few Righteous recognized in Jerusalem (nearly 500 at the end of 2011). 

This is why it is important to identify the cases that have remained unknown and activate the proceeding at the Commission to start the inquiry leading to more assignments of the title of "Righteous among the nations".

Tales and testimony

Holocaust stories

other exemplary figures featured by Gariwo