Piero Dello Strologo (1936-2022)

From Elie Wiesel to Willy Brandt, from Jacob Finci to Liliana Segre. Great figures of our time who have in common the characteristic of having won, at different times, the annual prize conferred by the International Primo Levi Studies Center of Genoa to personalities who, with their testimony, “contribute to peace and justice for a world free from prejudice, racism, and intolerance”. Those thirty years of commitment will remain one of the liveliest legacies of Piero Dello Strologo, president and soul of the prestigious Genoese institution who passed at the beginning of 2022 at the age of 85.
His disappearance elicited deep condolence in the city and throughout Italian Judaism in the memory of a man who gave much to Jewish Italy both as President of the Community of Genoa, today led by his son Ariel, and as UCEI Councilor and Proboviro. In 2004, on the occasion of the celebrations for Genoa European Capital of Culture, he was one of the architects of the local Jewish Museum where he welcomed some works by the artist Lele Luzzati.
It was an adventure, that of the International Primo Levi Studies Center, that began on December 16, 1990 “in front of a notary, in a bookshop closed to the public” and with the active participation, said Dello Strologo, of “about twenty people of different religious belief, origin and political opinion”. The center was entitled after Primo Levi who, recently died, “had not yet achieved the fame of witness and writer which makes him today not only the highest symbol of the suffering of a people but also of the redemption obtained through a testimony devoid of hatred and resentment towards the atrocious violence suffered”.
It was the beginning of an extraordinary history that brought some of the most important Italian and international intellectuals to Genoa. The flagship of a Center whose mission has unfolded in various directions, always in the name of a vigilant and aware memory. As on the occasion, among the events promoted through the year, of the great march that every November commemorates the deportation of Genoese Jews starting from the Mazzini gallery.
“He was an authoritative point of reference, highly esteemed and recognized for his dedication and infinite contributions to the Jewish world”, said President Noemi Di Segni on behalf of the UCEI Council expressing its closeness to his son Ariel. “You in particular, and we together with you, have him before our eyes even in the choice of participating in this forum”, she remarked.
“My father – said Ariel Dello Strologo – had a life that began in the worst possible way, with persecution. At the age of eight, he had crossed all of Northern Italy to seek refuge in Switzerland with his family. That experience marked him because he then knew how to attack life with an unparalleled strength of mind “.
There were many reactions at the institutional level. “With Piero Dello Strologo goes a figure of great culture, an authentic reference of anti-fascism, the cultural soul of the city, a staunch defender of constitutional values”, the memory, among others, of the Governor of the Liguria Region Giovanni Toti and the regional Councilor for Culture Ilaria Cavo
Dello Strologo, who was a protagonist of Genoese life also outside the Jewish context, was awarded in 2006 with the Grifo d’oro, the highest municipal honor and recently celebrated the Presidential Medal of Honor bestowed on the Center to which he devoted himself with unwavering passion and that, under his presidency, wrote indelible pages in the collective consciousness.