Donato Di Veroli, the last living member of Rome’s Jewish community who survived the Holocaust, has died at 98.
Di Veroli’s passing was announced by the Jewish Community of Rome, who said in a statement: “The death of Donato Di Veroli, the last of the Roman Jews who survived the Shoah, is a great mourning for our community. The disappearance of direct memory is a goad that urges us to carry on for the younger generations.”
Di Veroli was born in Rome in 1924. At the age of 20, in March 1944, was deported to Auschwitz.
After he was liberated from the concentration camp in 1945, he went back to his home city, but seldom spoke publicly about the horrors he witnessed in the Holocaust.
Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish community in Rome, described how Di Veroli rebuilt his life upon returning to Rome, Roma Today reported.
“After the terrible experience of the Shoah, he had the courage to rebuild a life and a family with a strong Jewish identity, which today is actively part of our community, passing on its traditions. We mourn his passing with the family, to whom we send our embrace. May his remembrance be a blessing,” she said.
Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri commented on Di Veroli’s death, promising to keep the story of his survivor alive for future generations.
“Today Rome mourns the death of Donato Di Veroli, the last of the Roman Jews who survived the Shoah. We will not forget the tragedy he experienced and we are committed to making his story known to future generations,” Gualtieri said.
Nicola Zingaretti, the governor of the Lazio region, also called for Di Veroli’s life to be remembered.
"I learned with great pain of the death of Donato Di Veroli, the last Roman Jew who survived the Shoah,” he tweeted. “On behalf of the regional administration I send a hug to the family and to Rome Jewish. Your story will not be forgotten.”