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The universal value of the Righteous and the fight against anti-Semitism
by Gabriele Nissim

The universal value of the Righteous and the fight against anti-Semitism

Topical News

From Vichy to Rwanda, France reconsiders its past

The 27th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide was marked by the release of a report called La France, le Rwanda et le génocide des Tutsi (1990-1994), commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 and presented on March 26, 2021. The report, which was put together by a cluster of French historians, prompted soul-searching about France’s responsibilities in having turned a blind eye to genocide preparations.


The project of a Garden of the Righteous in Rwanda

Yolande Mukagasana, honoured at the Garden of the Righteous Worldwide in Milan, is a survivor and witness from Rwandan genocide who has dedicated her life to hand down the memory of the genocide, through her word, through her writings, through her charismatic presence. Especially for the younger generations. On the occasion of the Day of the Righteous 2021, she has written a letter to Gariwo to underline the importance of the Righteous message and her great desire to create a Garden of the Righteous in Rwanda.


Ceremony for the new Righteous at Monte Stella in Milan

On March 52021, the ceremony for the dedication of plaques of the newly honoured Righteous was held at the Garden of the Righteous in Milan: Carlo Urbani, Liu Xiabo e Liu Xia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg e Dag Hammarskjold.


Delivery of the parchments for the new Righteous at the Virtual Garden

On March 5 - on the occasion of the Day of the Righteous 2021 - the ceremony for the delivery of the parchments for the new Righteous honoured at the Virtual Garden "Righteous of Monte Stella" was held in Milan. Click to see the photogallery of the event!


The Face of the Other

Most rescuers when asked what prompted them to respond positively to the call for help find it hard to come up with reasonable explanations. None quote statements by the world’s great philosophers, but simply state that it was the most natural thing for them to do, to help out a fleeing Jew, or the Jew’s entire family. By Mordecai Paldiel, lecturer, former director of Yad Vashem's Department of the Righteous


How Remembrance of the Shoah has changed the world

Raphael Lemkin’s Convention marked a new beginning: International Criminal Tribunals were set up to try criminals of Bosnia, Rwanda and Cambodia; the principle of humanitarian intervention (Responsibility to Protect) to come to the aid of threatened populations was affirmed; discussions started at the United Nations on an early warning system to inform the world when there are grounds for genocide. If all this is implemented, remembrance of the Shoah, a paradigmatic genocide of the 20th century, will impact on the whole world, which the Polish Jewish jurist aimed at achieving. By Gabriele Nissim, speech at the Commission of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies


Stories

The affectionate woman

Beatrice Murekatete is one of the Rwandans who out of compassion decided to take care of more than 10 children, orphans of the 1994 genocide committed against the Tutsi. "After Genocide committed against Tutsi I saw the orphans in my neighbourhood, I said to myself that may be it would add to the cost, but I had to do what it takes to help those children".


The younger brother

There was a mystery in my family, my uncle Ettore, Ettore Barzini, my father's brother, who died in Mauthausen. No one had ever told us about him, there was no photo, no trace, we didn't even know why he had been deported. So, as a boy, I had fantasized about him. Who was this uncle?


Josephine Nyankesha

Josephine Nyankesha is an old woman who was awarded a medal by Rwanda's first Lady, Jeannette Kagame in recognition of her extra-ordinary role in taking care and saving lives of several Tutsis who were the target during the 1994 genocide. She is one out of more than 3000 individuals who were awarded this trophy known as Malaika Murinzi'. She lives in Gikondo sector, Kigali City.


The Charters for responsibilities

Web reality. Tips for online awareness

To foster the development of personal awareness in conscious use of the Web and say no to the violence of words, Gariwo has proposed the Charter for social media, made up of suggestions to stay online in a conscious way.


Good competition. Tips for responsible sport

The behaviour of athletes, fans and even sports journalists can positively influence our society. Stories of virtuous actions in sport create a spirit of emulation in stadiums and sports fields.


The responsibility of a fragile planet

Gariwo wants to make his voice heard about the urgency of doing something to save the world we live in. This is why we have proposed the Charter for the environment, made up of reflections and virtuous practices to understand and deal with the climate emergency.


Charter of Remembrance

Remembrance has been extremely educational in that it has made us understand how genocides were not an extra-historical catastrophe, but rather happened due to the responsibility of human beings. This happened on a battlefield where there were executioners, accomplices, indifferent, resistant, spectators, Righteous individuals and all the intermediate nuances which, as Primo Levi knew and described to us, are very numerous.


  • About us

    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 of the Righteous

    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.

  • European Day of the Righteous

    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

    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.

Cambodia

Cambodian genocide

On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouges run by Pol Pot entered the capital Phnom Penh, giving rise to a communist regime and a purge that would cause over 1,500,000 deaths. The material executioners of such an extermination were a mass of young people, mostly of peasant origins, maneuvered by a very restricted élite made of Stalinist leaders.

Vann Nath, the painter of the Khmer Rouge

Vann Nath was a Cambodian painter who endured torture as a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge and whose life was spared to paint portraits of the Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. His paintings depict the excruciating violence he witnessed as a prisoner and became a precious visual testimony of Cambodia’s darkest page.

Rwanda

Rwandan genocide

Between 6 and 7 April 1994, genocide against the Tutsis and the moderate Hutus, perpetrated by the regular army and the Interahamwe began in Rwanda. The main ideological motive behind this was racial hatred against the Tutsi minority, which formed the social and cultural élite of the country. In only 100 days about a million people died.
Read our in-depth study on the genocide in Rwanda

“My Forgiveness, My Justice.”

As a teenager, Mr. Kalima lost both parents and other family members during the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. During the genocide, he survived a serious head injury inflicted by a machete and hiding in a swamp for over a month. His survival was made possible by a man who risked his own life to save his. The Anthropologist Craig T. Palmer interviewed Mr. Kalima about his life and his choice to forgive the genocide perpetrators.

From the UN and the EU