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Stories of invisible children. A journey from the Shoah to the present time

International Holocaust Remembrance Day initiative with Gariwo

January 2020, 29 - from 9.30 to 12.30
PIME Theatre, Milan

Celebrating Holocaust Memorial Day, now in its twentieth year in Italy, means not only remembering the tragedy of the Shoah, but also dwelling on the good done by Righteous people during the genocides of the twentieth century and the tragedies of the contemporary world, in a path that focuses on the strong idea of Gariwo: the Memory of the Righteous. This seems to us the best way to indicate a path of hope. The lesson of the past must also apply in our troubled present. It is not enough to say that we must never repeat the horrors of the past, we must also indicate a way to achieve that goal. Today, as yesterday, we need the example of the Righteous. Their actions can inspire even today the choices of those who deal with wars, terrorism, humanitarian emergencies.

On Wednesday 29th January 2020, at the PIME theatre in Milan, from 9.30 to 12.30, we celebrate the Memorial Day with an appointment dedicated to students, organised by the Association for the Garden of the Righteous of Milan (composed of the Municipality of Milan, Gariwo and UCEI).

From the plight of children during the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust, we will look to the contemporary world to face together the delicate issue of unaccompanied minors.

We will do this through the precious witness of Elżbieta Ficowska, the youngest child saved by Irena Sendler and her collaborators. Her adoptive mother, Stanisława Bussoldowa, a close collaborator of Sendler, was a midwife very present in the ghetto, helping Jewish women to give birth in the Jewish quarter. Elżbieta, currently living in Warsaw, is engaged in telling the Shoah to young people.

After the institutional greetings of the President of the City Council of Milan, Lamberto Bertolé, and the introduction of the day by Gariwo President Gabriele Nissim, they will talk with the students: Pietro Kuciukian, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Italy, son of a survivor of the Armenian genocide, who will give his witness regarding the plight of Armenian children, in particular on the story of Beatrice Rohner - Swiss teacher who, through a temporary permit to run an orphanage, managed to save a large number of orphans whose parents had lost their lives during the genocide carried out by the Ottoman authorities; Alganesh Fessaha, an Eritrean Italian humanitarian activist who risked her life to help migrants in Africa and Lampedusa; Salimina Hydara, a young woman from Gambia, who arrived in Pozzallo after crossing the desert and the Mediterranean Sea; Father Virginio Colmegna, President of the “Casa della Carità” in Milan and Gaia Lauri, educator of the minor community “Casa Francesco”.

For information write to or call 02.36707649

16 January 2020

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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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