On April 25, 2015 Italy will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. However one of the major organizations involved, the National Association of Former Deportees (ANED) has officially announced that it will not join the rally that will take place in Rome on that day. They say it is because other organizations involved showed intolerance towards the presence of representatives of the Jewish Brigade, which was a military faction of the British Army, which employed Jewish volunteers from the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine. The Jewish Brigade made a decisive contribution to the Liberation of Italy.
“We who represent the former deportees to Nazi camps, ‘the Drowned and the Saved’, both for political and for ethnic reasons, cannot accept that the spirit and meaning of April 25, of the Italian Resistance movement and of the Liberation are banned because of intolerance,” reads a note sent out by the ANED.
The decision came after a meeting to organize the rally. “After many hours of discussions among the organizations attending, many of whom do not belong there, threats and insults prevailed. This highlights the unacceptable environment that in the past years had created many episodes of true intolerance,” it adds.
Among the organizations that took part in the meeting were some representing the Palestinian cause in Italy. In the past years, many participants at the rally have shown intolerance towards the representatives and the banners of the Jewish Brigade.
“If the ANED does not participate in the ceremony, we will also refrain from joining it,” commented Tommaso Giuntella, the president of the Roman section of the center left-wing Democratic Party. “We cannot march with people who muddle history, who hate and want to take possession of the celebration of the sacrifice of our fathers and our grandfathers. We will find another way to honor April 25, together with those who are truly anti-Fascist.”