New Righteous for 2024 ceremony at Milan Garden Altiero Spinelli, Vera Vigevani Jarach, Jurij Dmitriev and Narges Mohammadi. The celebrations will be on March 6
Politician and writer, he began his antifascist militancy when he was just seventeen, in response to the Matteotti murder. In 1927 he was arrested in a bar in Milan because he was considered a dangerous element by Mussolini's regime. From that time, Spinelli began a long period of imprisonment in Fascist jails, also being imprisoned in Ventotene, an island of confinement for political dissidents during the dictatorship. There, Spinelli drafted, along with Eugenio Colorni and Ernesto Rossi, For a Free and United Europe. A Draft Manifesto, better known as the Ventotene Manifesto.
Behind her melancholy gaze, Vera Vigevani Jarach hides the deep wounds marked by two dictatorships, which in different eras have deprived her of her dearest affections in an excruciating way. A grandfather deported and killed in Auschwitz in 1943, a daughter 18 years old kidnapped, killed and disappeared by the Argentine military coup leaders a little over three decades later.
Jurij Dmitriev is a Russian historian, director of Karelia regional section of Memorial. He has been working with Memorial since the 1990s, with the aim of compiling "memory books" - anthologies containing thousands of names and biographies of victims of Stalinism in Karelia - and revealing the Soviet shooting sites of Sandormoch and Krasnyj Bor. Since 2014, when Dmitriev publicly denounced Russia’s occupation of Crimea in the presence of local officials, he has been subjected to increasing pressure and to three trials, all of which were marked by serious violations of the right of defence, leading to his sentencing to 15 years in a penal colony.
Iranian activist, in 2009 she became vice-president of DHRC, Defenders of Human Rights Center, an organization that has been defending conscience and political prisoners in judicial proceedings. Narges Mohammadi has dedicated her life to the struggle for human rights in Iran against the oppression of Iran's theocracy. Her last arrest was on April 21, 2022, when she was sentenced to eight years in prison for alleged crimes against Iran's national security.
In the village in Israel where Palestinian Arab and Israeli Jewish families peacefully coexist, the ongoing war is a big challenge. The citizens of Neve Shalom Wahat al-Salam practice exercises in dialogue and confrontation, continuing their daily lives despite the roar of bombs and the sound of planes. In this context, the presence of a Garden of the Righteous, a reminder of the courageous choices made by those who chose good, takes on a more powerful role than ever before. By Sara Del Dot
The cultural and political battle we are fighting in Germany for the safety of our fellow Jewish citizens is the same that is opposing islamophobia and racism. It is a major challenge for mutual respect and civil coexistence. For this, everyone’s commitment is needed. For this, those words projected on the Brandenburg Gate on November 9 – eighty-five years after the Night of Broken Glass – are nothing but the thin line separating German democracy from its failure: “Never again is now”. Now, it is time to choose your side. By Simone Zoppellaro
“The situation is indescribable on the ground. We have passed through many wars, but we did never experienced this massive distraction, random targets to full neighborhoods, with and without warning at times.” Asia, 31 years old and mother of two children, speaks to us directly from Gaza Strip. She takes several hours to send her testimony to us because, with her whole family, she’s keeping on moving looking for a place to take shelter. Israel has said to 1 million Gaza people to evacuate the North of the Strip, but they do not know where to take refuge. By Sara Del Dot
Hamas is a terrorist organization born from an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 1987. Established on the sharia and on Islamic fundamentalism, Hamas' ultimate target is the destruction of Israel. Hamas rules Gaza Strip since 2007, holding hostage more than two million people. On October 7, 2023, Hamas started a full-scale attack on Israel, therefore perpetrating pogroms against civilians and committing several crimes against humanity. Hamas wants to horrify the world, wants to show what it is capable of, exactly as Isis did at the time. By Cristina Giudici
Nobel Peace Prize to Narges Mohammadi, Gabriele Nissim (Gariwo): "Our dream is to have her in Milan for the next Day of the Righteous"
Gariwo Foundation congratulates with the Norwegian Nobel Committee for awarding the Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi with the Nobel Peace Prize 2023. Sentenced to 10 years in prison by a kangaroo court, Narges is imprisoned in Teheran at the moment. “We ask the Italian government a strong and effective commitment for the Narges' release in Iran. Italy should be in the front line and work to convince the international community to put pressure on Teheran for the liberation of this extraordinary woman”: Gabriele Nissim, President of Gariwo Foundation. “Our dream is to have her with us at Milan Garden of the Righteous for the next Day of the Righteous ceremony”.
On the occasion of the Russian Youth Day, Pope Francis stated: "Do not forget your legacy. You are the heirs of the great Mother Russia". However, Russia has always been and remains to this day a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state. Even I do not consider myself 'Russian', but 'Russian/Armenian/Jewish', precisely because of the diversity of my origins. Many people born in Russia have no intention of feeling proud of this "great empire" – an empire that has been oppressing and massacring both its neighboring populations and its own citizens for so many centuries. What does it mean for us to be "Free Russians"? It means refusing the role of "heirs of the Great Russia" and choose not to remain silent or patriotically proud while Russia is adding new blood-stained pages to its historical legacy. By Maria Mikaelyan, Community of Free Russians
Gariwo is the acronym of Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide.
We are a Non-Profit Organization based in Milan, with international coworkers.
Since 1999 we have worked to make the people aware about the Righteous: we think that the memory of Good is a powerful educational tool and can help prevent cases of genocide and crimes against Humanity.
This is why we create Gardens of the Righteous worldwide and use the communication means, social networks and public events to spread the message of responsibility. From the European Parliament we have obtained the establishment of the European Day of the Righteous - 6 March.
Our activity is supported by institutions, schools, volunteers, an International Scientific Committee and our 'Ambassadors'.
The Gardens are like open books that tell the Righteous’ stories.
They are public spaces, places of memory, meeting and dialogue. Here it’s possible to organize initiatives for students and citizens, to keep alive the examples of the Righteous all the year round, not only by planting new trees.
The Garden of Milan was born in 2003 at Monte Stella Park. The Association for the Garden of the Righteous - formed by Gariwo, Milan City Hall and UCEI - was created in 2008, and it takes care of the Garden activities.
Every year, a lot of Gardens arise in cities and schools in Italy and all over the world.
Our aim is to create a widespread network to connect everybody who believes in these topics.
On 10 May 2012, the Parliament in Strasbourg approved Gariwo’s call establishing the European Day of the Righteous on 6 March - remembering the death of Moshe Bejski, the creator of the Avenue of the Righteous. On 7 December 2017 Italy became the first country to officially join the marking of that recurrence, with the law that establishes also at the national level a Day in memory of the Righteous of the humanity. Starting from Yad Vashem, we have extended the meaning of the term “Righteous” including men and women who saved lives in all the genocides and defended human dignity during totalitarianisms.
Every year we celebrate the example of the Righteous of past and of the present, to spread the values of responsibility, tolerance and solidarity.
The Charter of responsibilities 2017 arises from the collective reflection proposed by Gariwo through the series of meetings The crisis of Europe and the Righteous of our time, held in cooperation with Teatro Franco Parenti - Accademia del Presente and under the patronage of Università degli Studi di Milano and the Corriere della Sera Foundation.
The Charter, inspired by the experience of Charta ’77 and subscribed by important personalities from the world of culture and society, represents our ethical commitment for the memory of Good and the education to responsibility, to reaffirm the value of plurality, of peace and non violence, as opposed to the culture of hatred and enemy.
As expected, the media curtain has fallen on the South Caucasus. Soon forgotten is the ethnic cleansing of Karabakh Armenians. Saving these small islands in an ocean of autocracies is no longer just a moral question. It is a question of survival for the future of democracy in the post-Soviet space and, in perspective, in the heart of Europe itself. Because, if we are unable to reverse the trend of threats and pressures mounting from the continent's borders, soon – the danger is this – the curtain will fall on us. By Simone Zoppellaro
A Foundation for the Righteous
On January 9th, in Warsaw, Gariwo’s and Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation’s representatives, along with a member of the Warsaw Garden of the Righteous Committee, Jozèf Wancer, instituted the International Garden of the Righteous Foundation. The establishment of the Foundation was announced in a press conference held in Warsaw in occasion of the 2023 European Day of the Righteous.
A gallery of the pictures taken during the event organized by Gariwo Foundation, along with the Association of the Iranian’s diaspora Maana, in occasion of the Sizdah bedar, the Iranian’s Day of nature. It was a morning of celebration, but also of discussion on very important topics alongside the Iranian community. A very emotional moment was, particularly, the dancing one, which was guided by the professional Iranian dancer Saba Poori.
Genocides and mass atrocities reappear in history in different ways but with similar mechanisms, languages, and dynamics. Therefore, knowing how to read, recognize and bring them to the world's attention is fundamental for preventing such crimes. That is why the knowledge of what happens inextricably links to memory so that we can keep the promise of "never again." But what are the most severe and urgent scenarios of genocide and mass atrocities today?