Italian prime minister visits Milan Holocaust memorial

Milan Shoah Memorial "confronts us with our historical responsibilities, in a clear and unequivocal way," says Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited a Milan Holocaust memorial with 90-year old Senator-for-Life and Auschwitz survivor Liliana Segre, reported Rai News.

“The Memorial does not speak to us only of death. It reminds us – and reminds young people in particular – of the example of those who opposed the horror of deportation with reasons for living,” said Draghi, speaking at the Milan Shoah Memorial located on Platform 21 inside Milan’s Central Station. “It is the memory of the Righteous – those who risked their lives to save Jews during the years of extermination. To offer them shelter and an escape route when they needed it, here in Milan as in other Italian cities.”

Their “stories of selfless heroism” along with the “heritage of Jewish culture” must be preserved, the prime minister said in his address.

Speaking about Italy's Jewish community, he added: “Its fundamental contribution to Italian and European history. From science to technology, from art to literature, from medicine to economics. An inheritance built with courage in the midst of the traumas of history, as, for example, in the saga of the Karnowski family recounted in Israel Singer’s fine book.”

Draghi thanked, on behalf of the government and all Italians, Segre – whom he described as a “free woman and woman of peace” – for “her commitment to defending truth and humanity.”

“This place is the tangible representation of the memory of the Shoah in Italy. Of the evils of the Nazi occupation and fascist collaborationism,” Draghi said. “It confronts us with our historical responsibilities, in a clear and unequivocal way.”

He described the memorial to Jews deported to death camps during the Holocaust as a monument for “memory and awareness… so that past atrocities will never find refuge in oblivion.”

“Most importantly, it is a venue for dialogue and interchange among cultures, teaching the new generations to overcome linguistic, cultural and social barriers so that the extremes of brutality witnessed in the twentieth century—the Shoah being the absolute nadir of human barbarity—can never happen again],” Draghi said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)