NEWS A Florentine Politician among the Righteous
By Adam Smulevich
Renato Fantoni, an important representative of the institutions of the city of Florence before and after World War Two, was officially designated a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
A crucial factor in the decision of the recognition were the stories rediscovered and written about in a recent edition of the monthly newspaper Pagine Ebraiche. During the anti-Jewish persecutions Fantoni hid his friend Eugenio Artom with his wife Giuliana, and butler Amedeo.
Artom also played a prominent role in various institutions, both in Florence and at a national level.
In 1945 he became member of the National Council, the provisional legislative assembly set up in Italy after the end of the War which served as the Parliament until regular elections could be held.
Later he became a member of Parliament.
Fantoni and Artom both represented the Liberal Party.
The medal of the Jerusalem Yad Vashem Memorial was presented to the adopted son of Fantoni, Piero, who in 2014 revealed the untold story of his father to Pagine Ebraiche.
The presentation of the award took place at a ceremony held in the Florence synagogue with the representatives of the Florentine Jewish community and the Israeli Embassy in Italy.
Fantoni is the first Florentine politician to become a Righteous Among the Nations.