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Emilia Marinelli Valori 1902 - 1988

She risked her own life to organize a secret activity to give hospitality and assistance to many Jews and other people persecuted

Emilia Marinelli Valori, born in Sansepolcro on 5th July 1902 and known as “mum Emilia”, fought against ideologies fostering hatred towards the others, refusing to recognize human beings as “friends” or “enemies”. After racial laws were promulgated in Italy in 1938, she used the tobacco warehouse she managed with her family in a Venetian village, Meolo, as a shelter for Jews and other people persecuted. Risking her own life, she managed to save many people - especially mothers and their children - from deportation and extermination, being resolute and calm whenever the SS knocked on her door for a search.

Support given by “Mum Emilia” to persecuted people was not only material but also spiritual and moral, as she managed to restore trust in others even in their darkest moments. Her secret rescue activity, aimed at giving hospitality and assistance to those in danger, was linked to that of supporting partisans, including her son Leo.

On 11th December 2009, President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano awarded the gold medal for Civil Merit in memory of Emilia Marinelli Valori. Valori is the protagonist of the essay titled Un albero per una vita, published by Rizzoli in 2001, in which her son, Giancarlo Elia Valori, tells about terrible years of Nazi occupation in Italy.

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Tales and testimony

of Righteous people in the Holocaust

There are numerous stories of rescue of the Jews from the Nazi fury during World War Two, which are still little known or have even remained unknowwn. In this section we feature the tales and testimony sent to the Forest of the Righteous Committee or that have reached our Website from those who want to inform people about a little known or overlooked event when rescue, aid, solidarity and human kindness were expressed in the gloomy times of hatred and persecutions.
Some events still need be evalued by Yad Vashem's Righteous Commission, where the inquiry in sight of the bestowment of the title of Righteous among the nations is started.

People recognized as Righteous

Righteous among the nations

recognized by Yad Vashem