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Ten new Righteous in the Virtual Garden

delivery of parchments

On the occasion of the Day of the Righteous 2019, the Virtual Garden is enriched with new figures. During the ceremony held in Palazzo Marino, after the speeches made by Lamberto Bertolé, president of Milan City council, Giorgio Mortara, deputy president UCEI, and Pietro Kuciukian, Gariwo cofounder and Honorary consul of Armenia, ten parchments have been delivered to the Righteous representatives, with these motivations (in the box below you can find all the Righteous biographies and the pictures of the ceremony):

Adélaïde Hautval
Doctor of Protestant faith, interned in Auschwitz in 1943, with exceptional bravery and moral strength she refused to execute the inhumane medical experiments on the inmates, proposed by the Nazi villains. Moved to Birkenau, she treated the Jewish inmates of the camps until the liberation in 1945. For her heroism, she was recognized as “Righteous among the Nations” in 1965.

Andrea Angeli
Italian official of the United Nations, he operated in numerous war scenes. In particular, in the Sarajevo put under siege during the conflict in the Balkans, he acted under the bombings to find and take to safety Rosaria Bartoletti, the last Italian who had remained in the Bosnian town. For this and other deserving deeds, he received several honours.

Maria Bertolini Fioroni
Primary teacher from Costabona di Villa Minozzo (RE), she sheltered in her home on the Reggio Emilia Apennine a unit of British officers engaged in the fight against the Nazi-fascists. In the same way, she hid numerous fugitives and the Jewish family of professor Lazzaro Padoa, who would then remember her as “steel tempered in a bath of sweetness”.

Father Nino Frisia
Barnabite Missionary, he operated for over 30 years in Central Africa. In Rwanda, where he remained until his death in 2009, fully aware of the serious personal risk he was running, he did everything he could to save some Tutsi nuns from the genocide. In a pathway of forgiveness and reconciliation, he converted his home into a shelter for anyone who was in danger, dedicating his life to the oppressed.

Gerhard Kurzbach
Wehrmacht non-commissioned officer, during Second World War, under the excuse of the need of workforce for his machine shop, he managed to save 200 Jews from the ghetto of Bochnia, in Poland. Following this, he was arrested and his whereabouts remain unknown. For his sacrifice, he was recognized as “Righteous among the Nations” in 2012.

Guido Ucelli e Carla Tosi Ucelli
Milanese entrepreneurs, they hid numerous Jews by organizing their expatriation to Switzerland. For such brave gestures, they were imprisoned by the SS in the San Vittore jail where they were submitted to very violent interrogations and then imprisoned in different places. Once they regained freedom, they resumed their activities without ever giving up opposing the Nazi violence and abuse.

Ludwig LuzLong
German athlete, who embodied the stereotype of the Arian race, he did not hesitate, despite the sporting competition, to suggest Jesse Owens the winning strategy during the Olympia Games of Berlin in 1936, hugging the US sportsman after his victory. For such a deed, Hitler sent Long to the front in Sicily, where he died in 1943. He was a clear example of sportsmanship and brotherhood.

Mons. JP Carroll Abbing
British clergy, during Second World War he rescued wounded and persecuted people first at the Hospital “Prince of Piedmont” and then near Rome, in a war zone occupied by the Germans. His action for the poor went on also after the war, with the creation of the National Work for the City of Boys and the International Institute for the Study of the Problems of the Contemporary Youth. For his deserving work, he was awarded with the Silver Medal to the Military Value and nominated for the Peace Nobel Prize in 1988.

Giandomenico Picco
Italian official of the United Nations, key figure of numerous peace missions to different scenes of international crises, he risked his life many times to rescue innocent hostages, above all in the Middle East. Defined by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a “disarmed soldier of diplomacy”, he was awarded with several important international honours.

Sister Leonella Sgorbati
Italian nun and nurse, she worked in Kenya and Somalia. In Somalia she found the Nursing School in the hospital run by SOS – Villaggio dei Bambini, in a land exhausted by years of war and fundamentalism. Women of dialogue, despite the threats, she never gave up taking care of the weaker. She was killed in Mogadishu in 2006 and beatified in 2018.

20 March 2019

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The European Day of Righteous

The value of individuals and personal responsibility

On May 10, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted the Written Declaration establishing March 6th as European Day in memory of the Righteous.
The concept of Righteous, born from the elaboration of the Yad Vashem Memorial to remember the non-Jews who rescued the Jews, becomes the patrimony of all humanity.
The term "Righteous" is no longer confined to the Holocaust only; it becomes a point of reference for those who remember the genocide and totalitarianism in all their efforts to defend human dignity.

The significance of this decision is reminiscent of one of the cornerstones of European culture: the value of the individual and personal responsibility.


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