The memory of Shoah, when it was born, had a specific and universal character. The theme of never again seemed to be the great issue on which everyone was called to reflect. Remembering Holocaust meant stating vehemently that what had occurred to Jews should not be repeated for any human being. Today, however, we see how that ideal charge seems to fade away...
We would have never expected this, but today the pandemic puts individuals in the entire world before decisions that can change the destiny of the entire planet. As in the Resistance and the post-war period, a situation is repeated where individual destiny is tied to that of all human beings. Individuals can become the creators of a new beginning that will impact everyone’s life.
During the Holocaust, the Righteous Among the Nations risked their lives to save the lives of others. Similar acts of rescue during the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi are sometimes described in Kinyarwandan, the language of Rwanda, as “ubumuntu.”
I would like to recommend two classic texts on the value of friendship.
First of all, Laelius de amicitiaby Cicero and a chapter of Essays by Michel de Montaigne, published in Paris in 1588, Of Friendship. Why should we wonder about friendship today? Because it is today an antidote against loneliness we feel in social distancing we are forced to experience to avoid the spread of the virus.
They never waivered through all the pressures. And held no regrets for what they endured. How can we possibly thank them? For so much love, such devotion!
The youngest are, in fact, the most vulnerable subjects in the societies and the first victims of genocide, but they are as well those who represent the future and have the possibility to give a more human and inclusive face to the world, through knowledge and sharing. They embody the hope and ability to make a choice for good, just like Terezin’s little girlwho drew the yellow butterfly flying over the barbed wires- remembered by Senator Liliana Segre in her speech to the European Parliament.
On Monday, January 13th an important meeting for the international memory of the Holocaust was held at the Shoah Memorial in Milan: the official ceremony that seals, with the signing of an agreement, the partnership between the Shoah Memorials of Milan and Paris and the CDEC Foundation.
To celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day, we will start from the plight of children during the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust, and we will take a look at the contemporary world to face together the delicate issue of unaccompanied minors. With the precious witness of Elżbieta Ficowska, the youngest child saved by Irena Sendler, together with Lamberto Bertolè, Gabriele Nissim, Pietro Kuciukian, Alganesh Fessaha, Father Virginio Colmegna, Salimina Hydara, Gaia Lauri.
LAMPEDUSA (AG), 3 OCTOBER At 3:30, the silence of the memory of the 368 victims was interrupted by the embrace between some survivors and Vito Fiorino, the man who saved 47 people that night with his fishing boat. Too few, compared to the huge number of names reported in the memorial New Hope, the work desired and conceived by Fiorino together with Gariwo.
Accepting moral responsibilities in one’s own history should not be a hindrance and a punishment for a country. Indeed it should become a value and a sign of maturity. Today, however, on the international arena, along with the multiplication of Remembrance Days, we are experiencing something peculiar. Many States feel the need to safeguard their innocence at all costs to deny past responsibilities.
At Rochelle Zell Jewish High School in Deerfield, Illinois, a project on the Righteous themes has been organized by a group of students, called STAND, and their head Dr. Schorsch. It consists of an indoor Garden on the second floor of the school whose aim is to honour and highlight the Righteous who helped during genocidal and dire times of darkness and danger and have made a difference.
“After the collapse of communism, for twenty years polls reported that anti-Semitism had weakened and sometimes even disappeared from the political scene. In the late 1990s, being anti-Semitic came to be acceptable, tolerated". From the interview with Konstanty Gebert by Elisabetta Rosaspina