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The message from the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella

On the occasion of the first Day of the Righteous of the Humanity

The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella

The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella sent Gariwo his wishes for the first National Day of the Righteous of the Humanity. We are publishing the text of his letter:

The full dignity of every woman and man, which rests on the respect of the right to life and the inviolable rights of human beings, is an essential condition for a free and democratic society, a balanced development, and a future of peace.

These are values, whose respect is not only demanded to legal orders but above all to the culture of peoples and the conscience of all citizens, at every latitude of our earth.

The choice of the Italian Parliament to set up the National Day in memory of the Righteous of the Humanity, thus strengthening the value of the European Day established for 6 March, offers a precious chance to deepen the themes of peaceful coexistence and strengthening our common commitment against any form of oppression, violence against the people, intolerance and racism.

The stories of the Righteous – i.e. of brave women and men, who have run huge personal risks to save human lives from the persecution at the hands of bloody regimes, oppressive apparatuses, totalitarian ideologies – are a living memory, and will keep on being lofty civil and human examples, which we all shall draw inspiration from.

Passing on this memory to the younger generations is a work of the utmost importance, because, as we know, the seeds of hatred and discrimination are never defeated once and for all. Educational action, starting from school, is indispensable to build the future.

Dear President Gabriele Nissim, on the first national Day I wish to send you my special thanks for the work performed by Gariwo, the forest of the Righteous, to accrue our knowledge on those who have opposed every crime against the humanity and have managed to avert them, sometimes at the cost of their own lives.

The Righteous summon up ancient and deep Jewish roots. Righteous have been those who have saved lives from the Nazi Holocaust. However, Righteous are also all those who, all over the world, rescue helpless people from genocide, violence, ethnic cleansing, cruelty caused by the desire to dominate.

I really hope this Day, which has now become a civil feast, may represent a goal and a new starting point for our path.

The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella

6 March 2018

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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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