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Mattarella visits Auschwitz, a 'huge cemetery without graves'

Mattarella visits Auschwitz, a 'huge cemetery without graves'

Racism still lying in wait warns Italian president

ROME, 18 April 2023, 17:58

Redazione ANSA


President Sergio Mattarella © ANSA/EPA

President Sergio Mattarella © ANSA/EPA
President Sergio Mattarella © ANSA/EPA

Auschwitz was a crime for which there can be no forgetting or forgiving, President Sergio Mattarella said as he visited the former Nazi death camp Tuesday.
    Mattarella arrived in Auschwitz from Warsaw on the second day of his state visit to Poland. After visiting the Auschwitz museum, the head of state took part in the traditional March of the Living in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On this anniversary, thousands of students from all over the world are present at the Nazi camp. There is also a delegation from three Italian high schools. Mattarella was accompanied on his visit by the Italian Bucci sisters, among the few surviving witnesses of the horror of the Holocaust.
    "We are here today to pay homage and bear witness to the millions of citizens assassinated by a bloody regime like the Nazis who, with the complicity of the European fascist regimes which handed over their citizens to the assassins, stained themselves with an atrocious crime against humanity.
    "A crime that cannot know forgetting or forgiving".
    Mattarella also said "today is the day of Yom HaShoah, the day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. Remembering is a dimension of commitment. It is a demonstration that, against the heralds of forgetting, memory wins. To affirm the pride of wanting to be human persons. To reiterate 'never again'." Mattarella went on to say "hate, prejudice, racism, extremism and indifference, raving and the will to power are waiting in ambush, they permanently challenge the conscience of persons and peoples".
    He said "in four years, from 1941 to 1945, in this facility more than a million people were murdered, as a result of their belonging to a faith, a culture, as a result of their convictions or their condition. In the Nazi camps, as well as millions of Jews, also political opponents, Sinti, Roma, disabled, and homosexuals found death in the gas chambers, from the cold, fatigue, hunger and disease or, yet again, because they were the victims of criminal experiments.
    "Innocent citizens of every country in Europe were taken as beasts to this place of death. An immense cemetery without graves".


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