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Senseless Goodness

the secret of the Righteous, second reprint

The cover of the book

The cover of the book

24 January 2011, 6 p.m.
Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan
via Pier Lombardo, 14

Presentation of Gabriele Nissim's new book La bontà insensata. Il segreto degli uomini giusti (Senseless Goodness. The secret of the Righteous), published by Mondadori, for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The author speaks alongside editorialist Antonio Ferrari, philosopher Salvatore Natoli, professor at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Vittorio Emanuele Parsi, director of Teatro Franco Parenti Andrée Ruth Shammah and oncologist Umberto Veronesi.


In his new book the author invites to reread the great Twentieth Century thinkers - Hannah Arendt, Vasilij Grossman, Etty Hillesum, Hans Jonas, Varlam Shalamov, Itsván Bibó, Jan Patocka, Václav Havel – who reflected on the possibility of Good under the most extreme circumstances, and scrutinizes the meaning of such terms as "responsibility", "dignity", "truth", "justice", "forgiveness", and "conciliation", trying to single out the mainspring which led the protagonists to gestures of seemingly senseless goodness.
His hope, and ours, is that this exercise of memory can prompt a sort of a race of moral responsibility passed on from a generation to the next.

The book will be sold in stores from 18 January.

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13 January 2011

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Dialogue and reconciliation

it is the Righteous, rather than the victims or the persecutors. to speak to the future generations

In the torn social fabric of a country where a genocide case or other crimes against the humankind have occurred, it is very difficult, even after many years, to resume a kind of dialogue to re-establish relationships and rebuild civil coexistence between the victims - including survivors or their relatives, refugees and their heirs - and the persecutors, accomplices or passive bystanders. To this we should add the role of the State, its officials and government members, who often try to deny what occurred and refuse taking up the - however apparent - responsibilities of the massacres. Only the reaction and heeding ability of those who have not bowed their heads to the uniformation of behaviour within the group of the persecutors and have refused to conform to a conduct which conscience cannot approve, can allow people to resume a kind of communication which is able to combine the need for truth and the assumption of responsibility with an opening to future hope and a shared project-making. The Righteous are the only ones who have what it takes to do that.

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