Andrea Riccardi on the deportation of Jews of Rome: Memory is also sensitivity and hope

Rome, October 17, 2015<br>The speech by Andrea Riccardi in the march commemorating the deportation of Jews of Rome took place on Oct. 16, 1943.

Andrea Riccardi, riccardi andrea, deported Jews, Jews deported roma, Jews roma, 10/16/1943, Oct. 16, 1943, holocaust, Jewish People (Ethnicity)
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[Andrea Riccardi]: "Thank you, dear friends, to all of you, for being here. More than twenty years we remember together the Black Saturday, the 16 October '43, and this year is the first time that there is more Elio Toaff, who attended our march from the beginning, he usually say: "As long as I live, I will come"; in the last few years, nearby, it was a friendly presence even when He never went out of the house. In the October 16, Women, men, children, elderly, Jews were torn home to finish in the Nazi's death machine. Then, a few, too few have cried over them in a Rome scared and occupied. «Seeing the Jews children rounded up», says Fausto Coen, «nearby, a poor woman, standing, took from his pocket a rosary and began praying, crying, muttering rhythmically "poor innocent flesh''», it was too much. Poor people felt it, as the seller from Trastevere, who in the morning of October 16, ran his daughter in Trieste, to warn the Jews neighbors, because escaping. Or as a teacher, Amendola, on Via Appia Nuova 21, who hid at her house the young student who wandered Rome, a friend of many of us, Michele Tagliacozzo. Or that Roman priest, Libero Raganella, who showed up in a cloistered monastery, pretending a higher order, to hide a family of Jews. Beautiful stories, in a too big silence, after the city had accepted, in '38, that Jews were segregated from the others. From the tragedy of '43 / '44, it has come to an end, finally, a story of distance between Romans, Christians and Jews; it was too much, ie had to start a new story. When I think about that October 16, I recall the words from Scripture, from prophet Obadiah, that says: «Because of the violence against Jacob, your brother, shame will cover you, even if you were on the sidelines when foreigners carried off his wealth, when foreigners entered into his gates, you behaved as one of them; do not look with joy at the day of your brother, the day of his misfortune», so far the writing. We have always been convinced that one should not leave alone the Jews with their day of pain, October 16, the day of trouble to our brother, but share it. And share this day has become, not only a great fact of friendship, but a sign of hope for the future. Indeed, this memory this day It has become a constitutive element of humanity and identity of Roma, and the memory is grown to involve not only the youngest, but also the new Italian that come from far away and have other stories, religious and cultural. Live this day together has become a fact building humanity of those who live in Rome, a very proved humanity but that exists and that does not yield. In crisis of the city, in the solitude of the suburbs, in the distance of many institutions, in the bubble of the politic debate, these are facts of people expressing the desire to share the pain and the values ​​of the other, as a community of destiny called Rome, Rome who wants to live together. This is a hope, because thereis hope for Rome thanks to many brave and human people. But as we said, remembering October 16, a survivor repeated it, Settimia Spizzichino, who so often was here, her who had been kidnapped, on that October 16, that morning, in an alley nearby, the old Jewish quarter, Settimia said: «Remembering this day makes sensitive to the terrible things that still happen, the long lines of refugees, with their suitcases, with their poor things, the desperate eyes of the children who discover that their parents are helpless and humiliated; to the terror of barges, to the war, to the violence in Jerusalem and in Israel, the terrible war in Syria and in Iraq, and also the exiled Christians and kidnapped in Syria». Settimia said: «Each of these things, it makes me relive my personal tragedy, reminds me of what I lived». Dear friends, remembering October 16 is for all of us, in so many tonight, memory, sensitivity to pain and also hope for us and for the world; for that I thank you to be here."