Remembrance Day celebrated in Detroit with the Italian Consul Baistrocchi

Feb 01, 2022 555

“Never like in a Pandemic is it relevant to talk about a virus. And today we will also talk about one, a more subtle one, because there is nothing as scary and repugnant as the virus that is hate, that is racism and that is antisemitism.” These were the opening words of Consul of Italy in Detroit, Allegra Baistrocchi at the event in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, organized by the Consulate and the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan. 

According to data from the American Jewish Congress, 1 in 4 Americans thinks that antisemitism is not a problem in today’s society. 80% of the Jewish community here would differ and rather think that it is a phenomenon on the rise. The facts at the Synagogue in Colleyville are still fresh and we should fight the normalization of such events that is going on globally.

Italy has always been in the forefront in the defense of human rights, in the fight against xenophobia and any form of discrimination. The Italian Parliament proclaimed the 27th of January a “remembrance day” five years before the UN decided to designate it as such internationally in 2005.  

Why January 27th? Because that is when the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, were finally opened. A camp that alone saw the death of 1 million people out of the estimated 6 million Jews that lost their lives during the holocaust. This was the day that the first account of the atrocities came to light and it became an international symbol for genocide.

It has been said that "to remember is to possess". To remember is to protect the memory from oblivion. In a couple of years, there will be no more first-hand recollections. Only the books, the films, the testimonies and the memory will remain to accompany us. And this is why today is so important. To remember. To possess. A day to remember what happened, with the hope that this will preserve future generations from the scourge of war and to help prevent acts of hate, acts of racism and acts of discrimination.

The event gave much food for thought. After the welcome notes of Consul Baistrocchi and of the President of Dante Alighieri Michigan, Lia Adelfi, there was the projection of an interview carried out by the two with illustrious author, Dacia Maraini (a Nobel prize in literature nominee), that gave a first hand recollection of her life in a concentration camp. Then, prior to the screening of the movie, A Starry Sky Above the Roman Ghetto, the Director - Giulio Base – explained his relationship with the movie and what brought him to film it. And finally, the movie. An inspiring interfaith story which injects with the youthful energy of its protagonists the themes touched upon: the importance of memory and coexistence, to which one can also add the topic of reconciling of generational friction.

SOURCE: Italian Consulate in Detroit

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