Giorno del Ricordo: Memories of a Tragic Past

Giulia Madron (February 19, 2014)
On February 18th the Italian Consulate and the Associazione Giuliani nel Mondo of New Jersey celebrated the “Giorno del Ricordo”

Every Year, in collaboration with the Associazione Giuliani nel Mondo of New Jersey, the Italian Consulate of New York celebrates the “Giorno della Memoria” to remember one of the most painful events in the Italian history of the XX century. The tragedy of the victims of the “foibe” and the Giuliano-Dalmata exodus which occurred during the second postwar period has remained unmentioned for many years.

The conference started with the customary greetings from the Consul General Natalia Quintavalle, who highlighted the importance of remembering such dramatic episode of our history and gave a special welcome to the Giuliano-Dalmata community who was attending the event.

After her speech, Quintavalle gave the floor to Eligio Clapcich, President of the Associazione Giuliani nel Mondo of New Jersey. Clapcich opened the ceremony with a message from Dario Locchi, President of the main Association in Trieste, who wanted to shed light on the importance of the “enormous moral, political and social value” of the law established in 2004 by the Italian Government in memory of the 20 thousands innocent victims who were thrown into the “foibe” by Yugoslavian dictator Tito and his followers.
This was a profound message which Clapcich, who was also an exile back in 1946, read with great emotion.

“The events of the ‘foibe’ and the Giuliano-Dalmata exodus were considered insignificant pages of our history or not deserving being written. Now, the celebration of the ‘Giorno del Ricordo’ has opened a window and finally it is something we talk about in our schools,” added Clapcich.

Later, the audience and the guests who were attending the event traveled back in time, watching some images projected in the room and listening to excerpts from the play “Magazzino 18” by Italian singer and composer Simone Cristicchi, who decided to give voice to such an anguishing page of the Italian history through the memories contained within the objects that belonged to the victims or were left by the exiles, found indeed inside the “Magazzino 18,” located in the old harbor of the city of Trieste.

The event ended with an honorable participation of Piero Fassino, Mayor of Turin, who was in New York to receive a special recognition for his activities aimed at the promotion of Italy abroad. Fassino, who has been very active during his political career with regards to the "foibe" tragedy, decided to use the occasion to remember also the many wars and massacres that are still happening around the world, stressing the importance of the Institutions making an effort to eliminate such dramatic events from our future.