“We are here to talk about love. Hatred is for ‘keyboard warriors’ only.” Once again, senator for life Liliana Segre delivered a clear message: hatred is a waste of time; the moment has come to turn over a new leaf.
She delivered her speech in Piazza della Scala last week, in Milan, her hometown, where more than 600 mayors from all around Italy gathered to show their support and participate in the demonstration against any form of hatred, antisemitism, racism and discrimination.
“You are here wearing your tricolor sashes to represent not a party, but rather the civic feeling shared by administrations with different orientations which came together for an across-the-board alliance. There is great harmony in this square,” said Segre, the only speaker at this event which gathered thousands of citizens in addition to the institutional representatives.
“In the 8,000 Italian municipalities there is an extraordinary trove of history which can be passed on to the community. Unfortunately, this history, remains confined in museums, institutes, streets, monuments. Keeping it alive relies completely on your awareness,” she added.
According to Segre, it is time for an “pact between generations,” because “hatred can be confronted keeping alive the shared memory of the tragedies that past generations had to endure due to preaching of hate. It is in the oblivion of our own history that the message of indifference gets through. There is no indifference tonight, but a festive atmosphere instead. Let us all cancel the words ‘hatred’ and ‘indifference’ and let us form a human chain to search for empathy and love deep down within ourselves.”
She appealed for empathy, thus recalling Primo Levi, and reminded everyone of the consequences of indifference to others’ fate: “I have experienced becoming an outcast for that civil society I thought I was part of. I have heard hate words and I myself have seen the implementation of the cruel programme fuelled by hatred. No more hatred, let us talk about love.”
Translated by Claudia Azzalini and revised by Sara Facelli, both students at the Advanced School for Interpreters and Translators of Trieste University and interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.