Italy marked Remembrance Day of Holocaust victims


This year marks 77 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and many commemorative events throughout Italy were held to honour the Remembrance Day of victims of Holocaust. The tradition was established back in 2005 by the United Nations, with the goal of raising awareness of this tragic event. 

First event was held in Rome, where Holocaust memorial stones, composed of bronze-capped cobblestones, were revealed as monuments across not just Rome, but also Milan, Venice, Florence, Trieste and Genoa. They will be positioned mostly outside houses where the victims used to live and will include their names, date of birth, date and place of deportation and their date of death, if this date is known.

Milan, jewel of the northern Italy, revealed 24 stolpersteine and reached the number of 145 this year.

Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala and Milan-born Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre lead the commemorative event in the city. Being survivor of the Holocaust and one of the last living victims, Liliana Segre was made senator for life back in 2018 which is one of the greatest honors in Italy. 

Rome established additional 18 stolpersteine around the city, now reaching the number of 336. Those stones present victims of both Holocaust and Fosse Ardeatine massacre in Rome. Around 1,050 Jews were deported from Rome into Auschwitz. Only 16 survivors made their way back to the Eternal City. Families of those survivors were present during this event, along with Mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri.

In addition to events held around the country, government officials also gave their statements.

President of Italy Sergio Mattarella said: “International Holocaust Memorial Day is meant not only for remembering the suffering and death of millions of people, but also to urge us to prevent and combat, nowadays and in the future, all possible sparks of racism, anti semitism, discrimination and intolerance”.

Prime minister of Italy Mario Draghi stated: “This day is important for remembering the horrors of anti semitism and we today, as collective, renew our commitment to combat all similar attempts, but also to preserve the memory of all those who died”. To complement statements by this two officials Pope Francis also urged families to teach their younger generations about horrors brought by Holocaust. (photo credit: Shalom)