ITALICS Anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on Holocaust survivor’s door in Italy

italicsBy Collen Bary

Anti-Semitic writing was scrawled overnight on the door of a now-deceased member of the Italian anti-Fascist resistance who survived a Nazi concentration camp, a family friend and historian wrote Friday on Facebook.

“Juden Hier,” German for “Jews Here,” with a Star of David was written in black paint on the door of the house in the Piedmont town of Mondovi, where Lidia Beccaria Rolfi lived until her death in 1996.

Her son Aldo Rolfi, who lives there now, reported the offensive graffiti to police, the news agency LaPresse reported.

University of Turin historian Bruno Maida noted on Facebook that the writing appeared after a local newspaper printed an article by Aldo Rolfi remembering his mother. It was titled: “The memory grows, but also anti-Semitism: The words of Lidia Rolfi anticipated today’s themes.”

“Beyond the patent ignorance, Lidia was deported to Ravensbrueck for political reasons, this is one of the many signs that should make us raise our voices to remind everyone that to be anti-fascist is the first duty to memory that we have,” Maida wrote.

Beccaria Rolfi, who was born April 8, 1925 into a rural family farm in the northern Piedmont region, joined the anti-Nazi-Fascist resistance in December 1943, and was arrested four months later. She was turned over to the Gestapo and deported on June 27, 1944 to Ravensbrueck, a concentration camp for women in northern Germany. She was liberated in May 1945.

She wrote about the horrors of her time in the concentration camp in the 1978 book “The Women of Ravensbrueck,” which was translated into German and Spanish.

Also Friday, the daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that a swastika had been painted on the side of the basilica in the southern city of Andria, in Puglia. The newspaper printed a night photo of the swastika, which has since been removed. Bishop Luigi Mansi was quoted as saying that the appearance of the Nazi symbol “is worrying” and called on people to “open our eyes before it is too late. History teaches. We hope that those who did this will be made an example of.”

Observers have noted a growing boldness in anti-Semitic and racist attitudes in Italy, which has included on-line attacks against an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor and senator-for-life, Liliana Segre, who has been given a police escort. Segre has said she will suspend schools visits to discuss her experiences under the Nazi-Fascist dictatorships in April, citing age, LaPresse reported.

*This AP article was published in The Times of Israel on January 24, 2020.