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January 27th: Holocaust Memorial Day

Twenty years after its establishment in Italy, Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of the moral imperative, well before the legal duty, to honour the victims of the Holocaust and to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

As President Mattarella last recalled on the occasion of his participation in Jerusalem at the solemn ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, anti-Semitism in our societies must serve as a warning never to let our guard down. For this reason, our country will continue with even more conviction its efforts to prevent and combat all forms of anti-Semitism. To confirm this solemn commitment, Italy has recently appointed Professor Milena Santerini as National Coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism. It has adopted the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition on anti-Semitism, giving further proof of its firm will to act at every level to fight this despicable phenomenon in its old and new manifestations.

We believe that, if anti-Semitism is a virus to be eradicated, the best antidote remains the memory of the Shoah, which we must renew from generation to generation through valuable testimonies such as those of Senator for life Liliana Segre. To this end, the Farnesina, in collaboration with the Fondazione Museo della Shoah (Shoah Museum Foundation), has also promoted the exhibition “Solo il dovere, oltre il dovere (Just duty, over and above duty). The Italian diplomacy before the persecution of the Jews (1938-1943)” to describe the reaction of Italian diplomats to the tragedy that afflicted the Jews.

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