Italian PM Draghi visits Milan Shoah Memorial

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi paid a visit Shoah Memorial in Milan. He was joined by Senator-for-Life and Auschwitz survivor Liliana Segre.

Speaking at Platform 21, deep within Milan’s Central Station, Mr. Draghi said: “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 the reasons for living. 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”.

“We must guard their stories of selfless heroism. And we must guard the heritage of Jewish culture. 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”, he added.

For Prime Minister Draghi, the 1938 laws were not ‘racial laws’ but ‘racist laws’. Those laws opened “a new season of discrimination and violence. The suspension and suppression of political and civil rights. The political use of hatred, which has eroded the foundations of our democracy”. Liliana Segre is “a ‘free woman and woman of peace’, as she has defined herself in the past.

“On behalf of the government and all Italians, I want to thank [Liliana Segre] 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,” he added, “it confronts us with our historical responsibilities, in a clear and unequivocal way.”

“[The Memorial is a place symbolizing the deportation of the Jews and other persecuted peoples to concentration or death camps. It is a place for memory and awareness, a multifunctional center for conferences, seminars and exhibitions 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]”

The Shoah Memorial in Milan is part of a vast subterranean train yard of twenty–four parallel tracks originally used for mail wagons. Between late 1943 and early 1945, deportees arriving from San Vittore prison were loaded onto livestock cars from this location.

Click here to read the full speech of Prime Minister Draghi (Italian – Moked.it)

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