Four Italian Holocaust survivors tell how they escaped death on ‘Black Saturday’

Four Italian Holocaust survivors who cheated death during an infamous Gestapo raid on the Rome ghetto have dedicated their final years to educating the public about the Nazi atrocities of World War II that killed much of their families.

The volunteers, Silvana Ajò Cagli, Emanuele Di Porto, Attilio Lattes and Marco Di Porto, regularly meet with visitors of the Shoah Foundation Museum in Rome and travel to schools, sharing their experiences with young people around the country. They do so as the last generation of witnesses to the Holocaust dies out, taking their firsthand testimony with them. This year, they are largely unable to travel due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis that harshly hit Italy.

The Shoah Foundation Museum where they do much of their work was established in 2008 and is housed in the Casina dei Vallati, an ancient medieval residence in the heart of Rome’s Jewish quarter. It aims to promote the establishment of a larger national Holocaust museum together with the Rome municipality, but is extremely active in its own right.

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day during a pandemic-struck year, the museum is giving a live online preview of its new exhibition, “From Italy to Auschwitz,” on its Facebook page at 3 p.m. local time January 27.


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