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“Il Giorno della Memoria” in New York

I. I. (January 16, 2020)
This January 27th, like every year, the Italian Cultural Institute, Centro Primo Levi, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU, the Calandra Institute at CUNY and La Scuola d’Italia join the Consulate General of Italy in New York in commemorating the victims of the holocaust on the “Giorno della Memoria.”

"Remembrance Day is not for the victims; they can’t forget. And they certainly don’t need a special anniversary to do so. As the son of an Auschwitz survivor arrested in Florence, I don’t need a special date either. Remembrance Day is really for everyone else, for those who weren’t born yet, for the children of the few civilian heroes who strove to save human lives, for the millions of 'spectators' who didn’t want to or couldn’t do anything to stop what was happening, for the children of the persecutors.
When the Red Army liberated Auschwitz on January 17, 1945, the spectacle was so ghostly and apocalyptic it’s no wonder they didn’t ask many questions. Yakov Vinichenko, one of the soldiers who threw open the gates, recalls: “Not even those of us who saw it wanted to believe it. For years I tried to erase it from my memory, until I realized that would make me an accomplice, a culprit. So now I remember it, even if I still can’t understand it.”

* Andrea Fiano is the son of Nedo Fiano, an Auschwitz survivor.

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January 27th - the day in which the gates of Auschwitz were broken down in 1945 - marks International Holocaust Rememberance Day, a day to commemorate the victims of the Shoah.

In Italy, this day - also referred to as “il Giorno della Memoria” - was officially recognized by the Parliament by the Law 211 in 2000. 

Every year, the Consulate General of Italy in New York together with the Italian Cultural Institute, Centro Primo Levi, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU, the Calandra Institute at CUNY and La Scuola d’Italia organize a series of cultural initiatives to educate youger generations on the history of totalitarianism, and to raise awareness regarding racism and xenophobia. 

These institutions believe that “education is paramount in forging the integrity of the new generations and instrumental in laying the basis for a better society.” Which is why they stand alongside the student community, their families and educators, in keeping alive the memory of Holocaust victims and therefore reaffirming the values of equality, democracy, and respect for human rights.

From 9 am to 2pm on Monday, January 27th, the Consulate General of Italy hosts a public ceremony at 690 Park Avenue in which they invite audiences to read out loud the names of the Jews deported from Italy and Italian territories.

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