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lunedì, Maggio 27, 2024

Holocaust Remembrance Day: UN in New York honors Italian victims

NEW YORK, JANUARY 27 – New York and the UN paid honor today to the almost ten thousand Italian victims of the Holocaust on the occasion of the 2022 United Nations Holocaust remembrance day. “Memory, Dignity and Justice” is the theme chosen for today’s anniversary. The Italian Permanent Representative, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, and the head of the Department of Public Information, Melissa Fleming, took part in the name-reading ceremony outside of Italy’s General Consulate building on Park Avenue. Massari recalled that last week Italy co-sponsored a General Assembly resolution condemning the historical negationism of the Shoah, while Fleming said to be deeply moved from the name-reading experience: “Most of the names were of people who died in concentration camps”.

The Holocaust was also commemorated in Washington, with two events organized by the Italian Embassy and Cultural Institute. On January 24, writer and Holocaust survivor Edith Bruck participated in a conversation with Stefania Lucamante of the University of Cagliari and Professor Emerita of the Catholic University of America. Through her writings and, in particular, her last work titled “The Lost Bread” – which will soon be translated into English – Bruck shared a moving testimony to the persecution and murder of the Jews of Europe and told how she built a new life beyond the Holocaust, the horrors of the camps, death and pain. Today, the Embassy presented also the screening of “Kinderblock” (The Last Deception), the latest work from Ruggero Gabbai which recounts the tragedy of the Auschwitz concentration camp through survivors’ testimonies, still children at the time. The screening was introduced by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia and a brief conversation between the director and Leslie Swift, Chief of Film, Oral History and Recorded Sound at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).

The traditional New York ceremony, in which the names of the deportees from Italy and the Italian territories are read aloud, was organised in collaboration with the Centro Primo Levi on the day chosen by the UN in 2005 to commemorate the liberation of survivors from the Auschwitz concentration camp on 27 January 1945. Today’s event took place in presence after a one-year break due to the COVID pandemic. It was attended by representatives of the State and the City of New York, diplomatic and consular representatives, the Jewish community and the Italian and Italo-American community, as well as by some schools from the New York area.

The New York event was the pivotal moment of an articulated program of initiatives dedicated to the commemoration of the Shoah, organized thanks to the collaboration with the Centro Primo Levi, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Zerilli Marimò Italian House of the NYU, the Italian Academy of Columbia University, the Calandra Institute of the City University of New York, the Scuola d’Italia Guglielmo Marconi and the Centre for Italian Modern Art and Magazzino Italian Art.

The New York Italian Cultural Institute published three videos. In the first one, Edoardo Ballerini reads the famous Jewish-Italian Elegy, the oldest surviving text in Jewish-Italian, accompanied by images of a photographic reportage made in Jerusalem by Alessandro de Lisi. In the second one, Vincenzo Pascale of the University of Long Island, talks with journalist Gianna Pontecorboli, author of the book “America. New promised land”, in which she recounts the drama of Italian Jews exiled to America following the promulgation of the racial laws in 1938. The last video was dedicated to the restoration project of the Venice ghetto, supported by the World Monument Fund among others, with the contributions of David Landau (art historian and fundraiser) and Marcella Ansaldi (Director of the Venice Jewish Museum). Lastly, the Institute’s website presented a special preview of the new American Opera “The Finzi-Continis Garden”, based on the 1962 novel by Giorgio Bassani and produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (Executive Director, Dominick Balletta) and the New York City Opera (General Manager, Michael Capasso). (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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