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Foreign Minister Di Maio’s letter for the celebrations of the Day of Remembrance

Seventy-six years ago, on January 27, 1945, the gates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camps were opened. On this symbolic date, on which the most abject of the tragedies of history gave way to the spark of hope, we keep the memory of the Shoah alive, joining the Jewish communities in Italy and around the world in the celebrations of the Day of Remembrance.

Once again this year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation intends to participate in this significant anniversary, which is felt with great intensity by all Italians, at home and abroad.

Numerous commemorative events are scheduled in our diplomatic and consular offices and in the Italian Cultural Institutes: screenings, workshops and debates to provide opportunities for reflecting on those tragic events.

It is believed to be a universal truth that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. However harsh and difficult the current contingencies appear to us, as we move away from the miseries of the last century and as the direct testimonies of those who were victims of it fade away, it remains essential to renew the memory of what happened. And that never has to occur again.

This is the spirit that kindles the initiatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on this day of solemn recollection, emotion and pure humanity.

These are the same feelings certainly felt by those who, like me, were honoured last October, at the Citadel of Peace in Rondine, to be present at the final, moving public testimony of Senator Liliana Segre, an extraordinary woman who knew how to speak to young people about wars, hatred, and unrepeatable horrors with the frankness and sweetness of the messages she sent directly to their hearts.

For that reason too, of the many initiatives taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to keep the memory of the Shoah alive, I would like to mention the release of a new documentary by Studio Azzurro “Testimoni dei Testimoni” (“Witnesses of the Witnesses”).

In this project, which has been made available on the website and social media channels of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the memory of the Holocaust is perpetuated through the dialogue between those who lived it, were victims of it, and those who have only heard of it. The reminiscences of the “elderly witnesses” are therefore transmitted through the story of those young people who participated in the Journey of Remembrance to Auschwitz, thus becoming “witnesses of the witnesses”.

United in a pact between generations. So that we do not forget.


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