NEWS Italian and German Presidents Commemorate Italian Victims of the Nazis
By Adam Smulevich
Italian President Sergio Mattarella and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier together paid respect at the site of one of the worst massacres perpetrated in Italy during World War II by the German occupiers last week: the Ardeatine caves massacre. The caves are located in a little frequented rural suburb of Rome where, on March 25, 1944, the Nazis killed 335 Italian prisoners (among them many political prisoners and members of the local Jewish Community).
No words nor official speeches were included in the commemoration, only a solemn silence, which made this historical visit even more meaningful.
President Mattarella preferred a small number of authorities to attend with him. Among others, Mayor Virginia Raggi, Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, a Jewish delegation led by the President of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, the President of the Roman Jewish Community, Ruth Dureghello and Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.
“This visit was a high profile symbolic moment, a visit that brought with it profound messages, the tangible sign of a Europe whose member states appear determined to be united and aware of its past. It is Europe itself which can look to the future with renewed prospects of peace, freedom and democracy,” President Di Segni commented leaving the Ardeatine caves.