Mattarella marks Holocaust Memorial Day. On Friday, President Sergio Mattarella warned against the dangers of denialism, racism and anti-Semitism. “The principles that shaped our Republican Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are the radical rejection of the universe that led to Auschwitz,” he said.
- “Unfortunately, today we see those principles threatened around the world by bloody wars of aggression, by obtuse repression and summary executions, by a worrying re-emergence – fed by the distorted use of social media – of anti-Semitism, intolerance, racism and denialism, which is the most sly and insidious form of racism.”
- He also recalled the role Italy played in the Holocaust with the Fascist regime’s 1938 racial laws and the complicity of the Nazi puppet Italian Social Republic in deporting Jews to the death camps between 1943 and 1945.
Meloni’s speech. The Italian Prime Minister also marked the day on which the gates of Auschwitz were torn down, when “the world saw with its own eyes the horror of the Shoah, the deliberate Nazi plan to persecute and exterminate the Jewish people. Today, Italy pays tribute to the victims, clings to their loved ones, honours the courage of all the righteous who risked or lost their lives to save others, and bows to the survivors for the tireless service of witness they carry out.”
- The Shoah was “the abyss of humanity,” continued Ms Meloni, “an evil that also touched our country deeply with the infamy of the 1938 racial laws”. Institutions, civil society, educational agencies, information organs and the mass media must “cultivate our commitment to memory every day, raise awareness of it in the younger generations and […] intensify the effort to combat anti-Semitism in every form in which it manifests itself.”
Combating anti-Semitism. On Thursday night, Ambassador Francesco Talò – the PM’s diplomatic advisor – inaugurated the new Centre for European Studies Against Anti-semitism (CESCA), which will collaborate with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), a leading independent research institute.
- Senator Giulio Terzi, a leading member of the PM’s party, also took part. Underscoring “the need for such an initiative to keep our guard up against the flourishing of anti-Semitic feelings and behaviour in Europe,” he called for increased commitment “to the fight against disinformation and for truth,” stressing how some political actors (such as Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov) leverage and decontextualise the Holocaust to spread propaganda and disinformation.
- On that same day, PM Meloni appointed Giuseppe Pecoraro, former Prefect of Rome, as National Coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism.