“My brother’s name was Stefano, Stefano Gaj Taché. He was barely 2 when, on October 9th 1982, he was killed by a group of terrorists while he and his family were leaving Sukkot’s party in the Great Synagogue of Rome. My name is Gadiel, and my brother Stefano was 2 years younger than me. Today, 29 years after that massacre happened, on which Italy put a lid of ambiguous and awkward silence, I decided to commit myself to preserve the memory of a child murdered in the heart of Rome.”
It was October 2011 when Gadiel Gaj Taché, interviewed by Corriere della sera, made this statement. On a community and personal level, it was the beginning of a new phase in the processing of October 9th, the day of the Palestinian attack on the synagogue and the day he lost Stefano, his beloved little brother. The day on which he himself, seriously injured, risked not to survive. Today, approaching the 40th anniversary, Gadiel returns to speak. He does so in a very important book, “Il silenzio che urla” (“The screaming silence”) published by Giuntina. It is a difficult but necessary testimony, valuable pages for the community.
Gadiel retraces the facts and proposes a kaleidoscope of emotions, his emotions: the pain for a wound that will never heal, the choice of life, also in the name of Stefano, his unabated battle for a clear understanding of this matter. “To this day – he writes – there’s no hard evidence that there has been a deal between the Italian government and the Palestinian terrorism of those years. In my heart I feel it with certainty, but another part of me refuses to believe it”.
For what happened, justice will never be made, he admits. But on the day an incontrovertible truth will be affirmed, it will obviously follow as an immense satisfaction. Gadiel also browses through the scrapbook. His mind goes back to the family holiday of 1982, in Puglia: one of the last happy moments he lived next to Stefano. An image of “serenity” and “happiness” in which the 2 brothers are eating a plate of French fries. Then the terror, the horror. A family torn apart. And how much vain expectation waiting for the State to play its abdicated role. With Napolitano at the Quirinal, Stefano was finally included in the list of the victims of terrorism. In a list he should have been in for a long time. On the day of the settlement, the touching speech of Mattarella reached millions of compatriots “He was one of our children, an Italian child”. A phrase, Gadiel acknowledges, that could crush, split and destroy that scheme “according to which the terrorist attack at the synagogue seemed to be part of a war that didn’t concern the Italian people”. A crucial step ahead on the road of awareness.
Translation by Sofia Busatto, revised by Margherita Francese, students at the Secondary School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste, interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities – Pagine Ebraiche.