Italian senator for life and Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre received the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest order of merit, on November 27.
She had been appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honor by French President Emmanuel Macron a year ago but had not been officially given the award until now, Ruetir reported.
Segre, who was “deported at the age of thirteen together with her father and grandparents, confronted with the inhuman brutality of a regime” was able to persevere and “to choose hope,” said France’s ambassador to Italy Christian Masset at the ceremony, held at the French Embassy in Rome.
He added that throughout her activism, Segre has “honored the memory of those who did not survive, among other things by inaugurating the Memorial of the Shoah in Milan, or by presiding over the committee of ‘stumbling blocks.’”
Masset spoke of Segre teaching children in school about her experience in the Holocaust “to transmit the darkest hours of history so that they never happen again.” He also said that Segre “found the courage to relentlessly fight intolerance and indifference.”
The diplomat explained that Segre’s voice and message are indispensable for teaching younger generations to “build a future of hope.” He also noted that Segre is the president of the Anti-Discrimination Commission and that she has contributed to the Committee for Education and Culture.
“Your voice must be heard beyond Italy, France and Europe, it resounds like a universal message” he said. He gave her a message of “fraternal greeting” from Macron.
Segre gave a moving acceptance speech, dedicated her award to the “French friends” who were deported to concentration camps with her during the Holocaust.