Liliana Segre: “Our biggest fear is to die alone”

“You know what? I have nothing original to say, and neither do my imagination, my fantasy, my common sense, nor anything else. I’m rather astonished by what is happening, and the truth is there is nothing to say. Maybe too many are talking and too much.” This is not an interview, but a short conversation in which Liliana Segre shared some of her impressions on the coronavirus outbreak in Italy with Pagine Ebraiche.

“It is like the Great Flood,” commented Segre, who explained to have chosen to remain deliberately silent, instead of talking about the medical emergency in public, despite invitations.

“I’ve forbidden my children and grandchildren to come and visit me, and I’m very careful,” she said about her quarantine in Milan. “You won’t hear what you’d like me to say; that I read extensively, make the most of my days to put my house in order, rediscover old photos, as many do. I’ve been finding old photos, looking through the drawers of memory all my life. Now I don’t do that. I literally do nothing, I’m dreadfully lazy,” she said with a smile.

“I sleep, and I do crosswords, which are fantastic because they distract attention from the real problems through the stupid ones. And then I make calls. I receive many calls from politicians and friends from whom I haven’t heard for thirty years. Just like you, they want to know if I’m still alive. “Then,” she, senator for life and witness of the Shoah, goes on, “I speak with people my age, we exchange awareness. And I’ll be honest, everyone’s biggest fear is to die alone. I’ve already seen those who died alone, but I didn’t think I’d be the next. There’s a real, unimaginable distance.”


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