The Italian Jewish community commemorated last week the 77th anniversary of the deportation of more than 1,000 of Rome Jews to the extermination camp at Auschwitz. The raid took place at dawn on 16 October 1943, when Roman Jews, including 207 children, were rounded up in the Ghetto and taken across the Tiber to the Collegio militare on via della Lungara. Two day later, they were deported to Auschwitz. Only 16 were to make it back alive, 15 men and a woman.
Many events marked the occasion. The anniversary was commemorated in Rome, as every year, blowing the shofar and laying down two memorial wreaths before the Great Synagogue and in Largo 16 October, where the Museum of the Shoah is located. The ceremony was attended by the president of the Jewish community of Rome Ruth Dureghello, the chief rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the president of UCEI Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Foundation Museum of the Shoah Mario Venezia, Rome mayor Virginia Raggi, and the president of the Region Lazio Nicola Zingaretti. Along with them, the Holocaust survivor Sami Modiano and Roberto Di Segni, the son of Lello, the last survivor of the raid of the ghetto of Rome who passed two years ago, participated in the ceremony.
Another important event was held, twenty years after the institution in Italy of the Day of Remembrance, in the Historical Archive of the Presidency of the Italian republic. Titled Stati Generali della Memoria and conceived by Furio Colombo and Vittorio Pavoncello, the circumstance brought together many speakers to share on line with students a lesson on the importance of remembrance and history, thanks to International Telematic University Uninettuno, in collaboration with Fondazione Adriano Olivetti and Fondazione Giacomo Matteotti.
The meeting was inaugurated with a message by the Prime minister Giuseppe Conte, who conveyed his participation in the remembrance of 16 October 1943, which was, he said, “the saddest say for Rome” and one of the “darker pages in its history”.
On the occasion, the president of UCEI Noemi Di Segni launched a touching appeal to memory. “An appeal for identity and civil conscience, since the offense was not only against the Jewish people but against the foundational values of the whole nation, against Italy that, wounded, equipped itself of a Constitution. A Constitution, which is not stuck in 1947, but must be read, lived, and never renounced”.
At the end of Shabbat, the Jewish Community of Rome and the Community of Sant’Egidio organized a joint commemoration, which is a traditional appointment in this anniversary. Among the speakers, the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio Andrea Riccardi.
Click here to see the video of the meeting Stati Generali della Memoria.