Memorial Day for 8,000 Italian Jews Deported by Nazis Observed in Rome

Commemorative ceremonies on the 20th anniversary of the Italian resistance to the Nazi occupation were dedicated today to the memory of the 8,000 Jews deported from Rome and other Italian cities by the Nazis of whom only 600 returned.

The ceremony was held at the Portico Ottaviano in the heart of the Rome Ghetto where a marble memorial stone was unveiled at the spot where, on October 16, 1943, three German trucks were stationed for the loading of Jewish victims bound for the Nazi death camps.

S. Azzarita, president of the Italian Federation of Resistance Fighters, told the gathering that those tragic events should serve as a warning for youth who too often accept chauvinistic theories. He reminded the audience that 2,000 Jewish resistance fighters–a considerable percentage of the tiny community of 30,000 souls–had fought for the liberation of Italy from Nazi tyranny.

Mayor Petrucci of Rome said at the ceremonies that the deportation of Italian Jews in October 1943 was one of the events that awakened Italians to reality and made it clear to them that the enemy had to be fought.

Home Minister Taviani, representing the Italian Government, presented a decoration to the Union of Italian Jewish Communities for the Jewish heroism and sacrifice during the Nazi occupation. In handing the decoration to Judge S. Piperno, president of the Union, Mr. Taviani cited the organization for its continued aid to persecuted Jews and resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation and for its role in the reconstruction of the Jewish communities after the war.

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