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Rescuers

The project of a Garden of the Righteous in Rwanda

Yolande Mukagasana, honoured at the Garden of the Righteous Worldwide in Milan, is a survivor and witness from Rwandan genocide who has dedicated her life to hand down the memory of the genocide, through her word, through her writings, through her charismatic presence. Especially for the younger generations. On the occasion of the Day of the Righteous 2021, she has written a letter to Gariwo to underline the importance of the Righteous message and her great desire to create a Garden of the Righteous in Rwanda.


The Face of the Other

Most rescuers when asked what prompted them to respond positively to the call for help find it hard to come up with reasonable explanations. None quote statements by the world’s great philosophers, but simply state that it was the most natural thing for them to do, to help out a fleeing Jew, or the Jew’s entire family.


A Lesson from the Righteous for Those Fighting Climate Change

Many politicians and public figures calling on others to go to war against climate change have failed to make even small reductions in the comfort of their own lifestyles. Far from morally elevating figures, such individuals become analogous to politicians conscripting others to fight a war while they themselves refuse to even observe the rationing of food they impose on others.


The first Garden of the Righteous in Germany

On Tuesday 28th May at Johann-Friedrich-von-Cotta-Schule high school in Stuttgart, we inaugurated the first Garden of the Righteous in Germany by planting a tree in honour of Julius Baumann, an extraordinary personality of the world of sports who sacrificed his life to give dignity and joy to Jewish children during Nazism.


Farewell to Father Giovanni Barbareschi

Passing away at age 96 of father Giovanni Barbareschi, founder of OSCAR, priest and "rebel for love". “Youths, fall in love with freedom. Only this way you become men and women”. These were his amazing and moving words as he was honoured as a Righteous at the Garden of the Righteous Worldwide of Milan on 6 March 2014.


In Stockholm, a tree for Harald Edelstam

On Monday 24 September, in the seat of the Italian Embassy to Stockholm, a tree and a plaque have been placed in memory of Harald Edelstam, the Swedish diplomat who helped the politically persecuted in Pinochet's Chile.


Rescuers

whoever saves a life saves the entire world

In Yad Vashem's Memorial, in Jerusalem, the Garden of the Righteous remembers those who tried to rescue the Jews in the Holocaust: those who hidd them, helped them expatriate with forged documents, nourished them or gave them a job; those who, seeing them suffer, helped them somehow instead of remaining indifferent.In Yerevan's Wall of Remembrance the memorial stones remember the rescuers of Armenians during the genocide of 1915, those who tried to stop the massacre, refused to obey orders, sheltered children, reported the extermination that was occurring beneath their hopeless eyes to the world's public opinion.
In 1994 in Rwanda, some Tutsies who were hunted by the interahamwe militias were protected by neighbours, friends - some times strangers, too - belonginf to the Hutu ethnic group, who refused participating in the "man hunt" with machetes that had been planned by other Hutus to exterminate the country's Tutsi minority.
While ethnic cleansing was ravaging Bosnia leading to the murder of thousands innocent victims some people trying to escape the massacre were helped in the same way by neighbours, school mates, friends, or strangers, who were members of other ethnic groups.
Still todate, in many places in the world, there are such rescuers who risk and sometimes lose their lives in the attempt of helping the victims, and become victims themselves. Other times they lose their jobs, wellbeing, social status or they are imprisoned, tortured, cast out. At any rate, even before starting their endeavours, they know they run a serious risk, but they prefer doing so rather than bearing the weigh of remorse for remaining indifferent for the rest of their lives. Everytime by their action they "save the entire world", as stands in the Talmud.

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André Sibomana

an independent journalist in the Rwandan Genocide