Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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New Righteous to be celebrated on Monte Stella Hill Chosen

they will be honoured on 6 March 2018, for European Day of the Righteous

The choice of the new Righteous to be honoured at Monte Stella Hill on 6 March 2018, to mark European Day of the Righteous, has been made

The Guarantors' Committee of Associazione Giardino dei Giusti di Milano, composed of City Hall, Gariwo and UCEI, has ratified the choices made by the Assembly on past 31 May regarding the theme for next year's ceremony of 6 March, European Day of the Righteous: “The Righteous of hospitality. Beyond the boundaries to pull down the walls".

The figures approved are, as far as the past is concerned:

Ho Feng Shan, Chinese consul to Vienna. After the annexation of Austria to Germany in 1938, he provided the Jews with the expatriation visas allowing them to get into safety, while all other diplomatic corps rejected them;

Shero Hammo, Yazidi, chief of the territory of Sindjār. He welcomed and protected thousands Armenian rescapés who sought refugee from genocide in 1915;

and as far as our present time is concerned:

Costantino Baratta, bricklayer and recreational fisherman from Lampedusa. He has welcomed and helped the refugees on the island and he rescued a dozen of them during the shipwreck of 3 October 2013;

Daphne Troumpounis, hotel owner from Lesbos. She was arrested for driving the refugees landed in 2015 to the ship embarkment for Athens. Her protest helped obtain more humane rules for the hospitality of migrants on the island.

You can look up their full biographies in the Further insights box.

The Committee also approved the nominations submitted to the Association after the inauguration, on past 6 March, of the Virtual Garden of Monte Stella hill, for their addition to this digital spacce hosted on Gariwo's Website.

In the Assembly of 31 May, also the expiring charges have been renewed. For the Guarantors' Committee, the new external components are journalist Antonio Ferrari, historian Marcello Flores, college teacher Carlo Sala and university professor Rita Sidoli. As vicepresident of the Association, Gariwo director Ulianova Radice succeeds to Gabriele Nissim in the charge of Vicepresident, while Giorgio Mortara has been confirmed as delegate of UCEI.

The Guarantors' biographies can be found in the Further Insights box.

These Righteous people – said Lamberto Bertolé, President of the Garantors' Committee - are there as a new representation of courage, solidarity and heroism. And in particular, as far as the two figures belonging to our present are concerned, they are the protagonist of tales, which are not distant from us and this is why they recall us even more strongly to personal commitment, the daily responsibility that all of us shall express and put into concrete practice".

“This year in particular, it was essential to chose a theme that would be able to provide the young people with a reference point for the understanding of the present and their daily deeds. - says Ulianova Radice - The examples set by the Chinese consul before the Holocaust and the Yazidi chief during the Armenian Genocide prove the importance of sheltering the refugees, averting worse consequences and future persecutions. Just the same wat as today the example set by the rescuers of Lampedusa and Lesbos is a guiding light on the perilous but  necessary road of hospitality, the sole guarantee of rescue for thousands human beings". 

"In the face of the more and more serious international conjuncture and the spreading of fundamentalism, with its trail of bloodshed and horror - says Giorgio Mortara - it seems as important to me to highlight the choice of identifying for 2018 the theme of hospitality as a binding criterion for the choice of the Righteous to be honoured at the Garden. We wish to bring about those who put themselves in the service of the weaker and the defenceless beyond mistrust and differences to promote civil commitment and the personal assumption of responsibility so that the mechanism of lofty emulation indispensable in the shaping of civil conscience among the young people can be set in motion”.

22 June 2017

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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