On January 27, 2011, the Embassy of Italy observes the Holocaust Remembrance Day – “Giorno della Memoria” – with a series of events in Washington DC and throughout the United States. Instituted by the Italian Parliament in July 2000, it honors the victims of the Nazi and Fascist regimes, those who perished in the Holocaust, and the heroism of those who risked their lives to help the persecuted.

“Even in the darkest moments of European history – recalls Italian Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata – brave and honest men, who perhaps mightn’t have been capable of extraordinary deeds in ordinary circumstances, were able to fight, were able to use the weapons of their strengths, their integrity and their intelligence to oppose what was wrong and inhuman.”

In Washington, Ambassador Terzi will open the screening of “50 Italians – The men who saved 50,000 Jewish lives,” a feature-length documentary by director Flaminia Lubin about how 50 high-ranking Italian diplomats and generals helped Jews escape Hitler’s “final solution.” The screening will be held at the Auditorium of the Embassy of Italy at 6pm. The documentary, which will be screened the same night also in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, will be followed by a ceremony to award Warren Miller, President of the U.S. Commission for Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, with the title of “Commendatore” of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. In 2008, Miller negotiated on behalf of the American government the agreement between Italy and the US on the Protection and Preservation of Places of Commemoration.

Remembrance Day events will be held in Italian Consulates and Cultural Institutes in major US cities and include: the conference “Jews and the Unity of Italy” organized by the Consulate General of Italy in New York, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the Centro Primo Levi; the screening in Philadelphia, of the film “The truce,” by Francesco Rosi; and the symposium in Boston on “Amnesia and Remembrance” followed by the screening of “La Finestra di Fronte” by Ferzan Ozpetek.

-- Washington DC, January 26, 2011

Andrea Sandre
Press and Public Affairs Officer