During his first speech to Parliament Sergio Mattarella, the new president of Italy, memorialized Stefano Gaj Taché, a 2 year old Jewish boy killed in the Great Synagogue of Rome attack which was carried out by Palestinian terrorists on 9 October 1982.
“Our country has paid, many times, and even in a not too distant past, the price of hatred and intolerance. I want us all to remember one name: Stefano Taché, killed in the cowardly terrorist attack in the Great Synagogue, here in Rome in October 1982. Stefano was only two years old. Stefano was our boy, an Italian boy,” president Mattarella said.
His words were deeply appreciated by Renzo Gattegna, president of Union of Italian Jewish Communities, who was invited by Mattarella to attend the official ceremony that took place in the Quirinale to celebrate his election.
As his first official act Mattarella had previously visited the Ardeatine caves, where 335 people including 75 Jews, were killed by the Nazis in an act of reprisal. On that occasion he remarked, “The alliance between nations and peoples succeeded in defeating the Nazis, racists and anti-Semitic and totalitarian hatred which this site painfully symbolizes. The very same unity in Europe and in the world will enable us to defeat those who want to drag us into a new season of terror”.