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Il Giorno della Memoria

(Remembrance Day)

On July 20

On July 20th, 2000 the Italian Senate approved Law 211, proclaiming January 27th of each year a day of national commemoration of all victims of the Holocaust. On this day, the country condemns the racial laws shamelessly enforced during the fascist era in Italy, and remembers the Jewish and non-Jewish Italians who were killed, deported, and imprisoned between 1943 to 1945 at the hands of the Nazi regime. A few years earlier, Germany (1996) and France (1997) had adopted the same day to commemorate the infamous events.

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 27th the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the HolocaustWith this resolution, member countries pledge to impart to new generations the “lessons of the Holocaust” and to condemn any religious and ethnic intolerance.

th, 2000 the Italian Senate approved Law 211, proclaiming January 27th of each year a day of national commemoration of all victims of the Holocaust. On this day, the country condemns the racial laws shamelessly enforced during the fascist era in Italy, and remembers the Jewish and non-Jewish Italians who were killed, deported, and imprisoned between 1943 to 1945 at the hands of the Nazi regime. A few years earlier, Germany (1996) and France (1997) had adopted the same day to commemorate the infamous events.

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January th the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the HolocaustWith this resolution, member countries pledge to impart to new generations the “lessons of the Holocaust” and to condemn any religious and ethnic intolerance.


Why did Italy and other countries choose this day? It was January 27th 1945 when the Red Army opened the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp. About 9,000 prisoners, the weakest and the most vulnerable, were left in the camp, after the SS police had forced the rest of the inmates to escape prior the arrival of the Russian army. January 27th symbolically represents the end of the Nazi persecutions.

Why did Italy and other countries choose this day? It was January 27th 1945 when the Red Army opened the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp. About 9,000 prisoners, the weakest and the most vulnerable, were left in the camp, after the SS police had forced the rest of the inmates to escape prior the arrival of the Russian army. January 27th symbolically represents the end of the Nazi persecutions.

The goal of this commemoration is not to celebrate, rather to reiterate the need to remember and learn from the past. It is an opportunity to reflect on a page of history that is still fresh. More importantly, it is a public and collective recognition of Europe’s responsibilities to this infamy and of Italy’s involvement in this immense tragedy.

On January 27th ceremonies and events take place all over Italy. In public schools, from primary schools to universities, educational initiatives are promoted to inform, remember, and prevent similar events from reoccurring in the future.

As genocide and other atrocities continue to occur around the world, and as we are witnessing a global rise of anti-Semitism and hateful discourses, this commemoration has never been so relevant.

 

Se comprendere è impossibile, conoscere è necessario.

If it is impossible to comprehend, it is necessary to learn.

Primo Levi (1919-1987), writer and Holocaust survivor 


Primo Levi’s book Se questo è un uomo (If this is a man) is a memoir, first published in 1947. It describes his arrest as a member of the Italian anti-fascist resistance during the Second World War, and his incarceration in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The goal of this commemoration is not to celebrate, rather to reiterate the need to remember and learn from the past. It is an opportunity to reflect on a page of history that is still fresh. More importantly, it is a public and collective recognition of Europe’s responsibilities to this infamy and of Italy’s involvement in this immense tragedy.

On January 2th ceremonies and events take place all over Italy. In public schools, from primary schools to universities, educational initiatives are promoted to inform, remember, and prevent similar events from reoccurring in the future.

As genocide and other atrocities continue to occur around the world, and as we are witnessing a global rise of anti-Semitism and hateful discourses, this commemoration has never been so relevant.

 

Se comprendere è impossibile, conoscere è necessa


The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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