Italy is honouring Holocaust Memorial Day, which was established by Parliament in July 2000 to pay homage to the victims of the Nazi and Fascist regimes and of the Holocaust. It also celebrates the heroism of all those who risked their lives to help the persecuted.
Events have been organised in Italy’s diplomatic missions throughout the world, including in the United States. “Even in the darkest moments in Europe’s history”, recalled the Italian Ambassador to Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, “brave and honest men and women, who in ordinary circumstances might not have been capable of extraordinary actions, found it in themselves to fight, using their own strength, integrity and intelligence as weapons, to oppose all that was wrong and inhumanly cruel”.
In Washington, Ambassador Terzi will introduce the first screening of “50 Italians: The men who saved 50,000 Jewish lives”, a documentary directed by Flaminia Lubin. The film tells the story of 50 high-ranking Italian diplomats and generals who helped Jews to flee Hitler’s “final solution”. The documentary will also be shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. It will be followed by the ceremony to award the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic to Warren Miller, Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. In 2008, Miller negotiated on behalf of the American government the agreement between Italy and the US on the Protection and Preservation of Places of Commemoration.
Remembrance Day events will be held in Italian Consulates and Cultural Institutes in major US cities. They include: the conference on “Jews and the Unity of Italy” organized by the Consulate General of Italy in New York, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the Primo Levi Centre; the screening in Philadelphia of the film “The Truce,” by Francesco Rosi; and the symposium in Boston on “Amnesia and Remembrance” , which will be followed by a screening of “La Finestra di Fronte” by Ferzan Ozpetek.