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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Remembering Auschwitz

The beginning of the year is often a time of hope and optimism. As was the case 70 years ago in January when the concentration camp at Auschwitz was liberated.  The tragedy of the Holocaust has left emotional and physical marks throughout the entire world.

A plaque in the Jewish Ghetto in front of the Portico di Ottavia commemorating the victims of Holocaust deported on October 16th 1943.

While Italy's role in World War II is often misunderstood, for lack of a better word, the country has worked effortlessly to improve and reinforce its sensitive image. While Italy has had a reputation for attempting to save the Jewish people from deportation, more than 2000 Roman Jews and other victims were arrested and deported to Auschwitz in October 1943 and only a handful returned after the gates opened in January 1945.
A plaque in the Jewish Ghetto commemorating over 100 children that were arrested from school and deported to Auschwitz

Please reference my article in Wanted in Rome magazine about various Jewish memorials around the capital city; and the marks in front of doorsteps that are found in Rome and 8 additional European countries. These physical marks are called "stumbling stones" and mark the addresses of victims from where each adult and child was arrested, a powerful and unavoidable way of keeping their memory alive, and of bringing them back to the community, one at a time. - article link

An example of stumbling blocks that can be found all over Rome and Europe, placed at the doorsteps of victims of the Holocaust, indicating their name, date and place of deportation and date of death.

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