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From The Past to the Present: the Righteous Amidst Us

the Gariwo events for Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

The Auschwitz camp

The Auschwitz camp

Celebrating Holocaust Remembrance Day means to us not only remembering the Shoah, but also stopping a little to reflect on the Good deeds performed by Righteous people under circumstances of extreme evil. This seems to us as the best way to indicate a route of hope. We want the Righteous' deeds to inspire also today the choices of those who must cope with war, terrorism, and humanitarian emergencies. The lesson of the past shall be kept also in our troubled present. It is not enough to affirm that the horrors of the past shall not repeat; we also need to indicate a way to reach this goal. Also today, like yesterday, we need the example of the Righteous.

Here you can find our initiatives to celebrate the Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

24 January, Milan: Not to forget, devoting particular attention also to the current plight of the refugees who risk their lives to escape from oppressive and violent regimes. With Gabriele Nissim, Father Mussie Zerai, and Regina Catrambone. Centro Pime Milano, at 9 pm.

2 January, Rome: From the memory of the Holocaust to the Righteous of our time. Gariwo at the Chamber of Deputies to promote the law for the establishment of a day in memory of the Righteous of the humanity by the Italian Parliament. Palazzo Montecitorio, Sala del Mappamondo, 2.30 pm.

24 January 2017
9.30 – 12.30 at Teatro Elfo Puccini, Milan

The event is part of the  teaching pathway and Contest "Adopt a Righteous", promoted by the Association for the Garden of the Righteous (formed by Milan City Hall, Gariwo and the UCEI), and is intended for the schools of every grade of education. In the morning there will be the presentation and awarding of the works of the winner students, but the event is also open to the class that did not take part in the contest.

After the institutional greetings of the President of the City Council Lamberto and the remarks by a founder of Gariwo, there will be a message by Roberto Jarach, Vicepresident Holocaust Memorial of Milan, who will tell us about the opening of Platform 21 to the refugees.

This will be followed by the testimony by Regina Catrambone, who with her husband Christopher has founded the MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) to respond to the call of the destitute who try to land on the Mediterranean coasts, and has put her wealth into the organization of two rescue boats that aid the Corps of the Coastal Ward in the operations to rescue the migrants. We will also listen to the testimony of Father Mussie Zerai, "the angel of refugees", an Eritrean President of the association “Habeshia”, offering assistance to asylum seekers and the refugees who find themselves on Italian soil. 

Following there will be the presentations of the student's elaborations and the awarding of the winners.

In the morning, short videos and some significant readings will be proposed on the Righteous whom we will honour on Monte Stella Hill on 15 May 2017.

16 January 2017

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Remember the past in order to build a future

The International Committee of the Armenian Righteous. Memory is the Future was founded by Piero Kuciukian in order to commemorate those who went against the genocide of 1915. The title emphasises the function of the memory, which is not a nostalgic look back in history, but a a clear sense of the past to build a future without making old mistakes.
The memory has many solutions and presents conflicting results, either positive or negative depending on how it is treated. Reflections on the previous events help us to understand the present, which means to search for the coordinates that allow us to interpret new situations with awareness of the dangers or opportunities that are triggered by certain mechanisms such as cultural, social and individual. The experience of the genocides of the twentieth century, the phenomenon of totalitarianism, resulted in the devastating world war, the balance of power during the Cold War, provide very precise indications on the geopolitical hegemony and humanitarian frifts to be avoided, while the example of the Righteous, their varied efforts on behalf of the persecuted, the demand for freedom, independence of thought and the instance of the defense of human dignity, are to be taken to avoid the pitfalls of arrogance, denial of truth, the rejection of diversity, closing the other, unilateral decision.

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Carlo Bianchi

he dedicated his life helping those in need, saving the Sonnino-Shapira Jewish family from persecution