Venerdì, 16 Novembre 2018
ROME

Mattarella names Holocaust survivor Segre Life Senator (2)

English
© ANSA

Rome, January 19 - Italian President Sergio
Mattarella named 87-year-old Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre
Life Senator on Friday.
Segre, an Auschwitz survivor, has written books and taken
part in films about the Holocaust.
Segre told ANSA being named a Life Senator had been a "bolt
from the blue" and that she was "just an emblem" for Holocaust
remembrance.
"I can't claim more importance than being an emblem, a person
telling what she was witness to," said Segre, 87.
"It was a bolt from the blue: I feel like any other woman, a
grandmother, and I never thought of all of this.
"Knowing that I'm among the Life Senators is an honour and a
great responsibility".
The president of the Italian Union of Jewish Communities
(UCEI), Noemi Di Segni, welcomed the decision.
"I express our deep emotion at President Mattarella's
decision in the name of all of Italy's Jewish communities," said
Di Segni.
"It precisely responds to the need to ensure that the
institution called on to legislate has a memory of what happened
in the past".
Premier Paolo Gentiloni echoed those sentiments in a tweet.
"The life of Liliana Segre is a testimony of freedom," he
said.
"As a Senator she will indicate the value of memory.
"A precious decision 80 years after the (Fascist) racial
laws".
The Milan-born woman was taken by train to Auschwitz in
January 1944.
She was one of just 25 survivors of the death camp from the
776 Italian children taken there.
Her father and her paternal grandparents were killed in the
Shaoh - her mother died when Segre was a baby.
She was tattooed with the number 75190 and made to do forced
labour at a munitions plant.
She was liberated from Malchow, one of the sub-camps of
Ravensbrück Nazi concentration camp, on May Day 1945.
"President Sergio Mattarella called me this morning to inform
me of his decision to name me Life Senator," Segre said.
"I thank him for this great honour. The news took me totally
by surprise.
"I have never been active in politics and I am an ordinary
person, a grandmother with a life full of interests and
commitments.
"The president certainly wanted to honour, via me, the memory
of many others in this year, 2018, in which there is the 80th
anniversary of the racial laws.
"I feel the enormous task and the grave responsibility to try
at least, with all my limits, to take to the Senate the distance
voices that risk being lost in oblivion.
"The voices of thousands of Italians, members of the small
Jewish minority, who in 1938 suffered the humiliation of being
degraded by the nation they loved - they were expelled from
schools, from professions and from the society of first-class
citizens".
Segre is the first Life Senator appointed by Mattarella.
There are now six, with four having been named by
ex-president Giorgio Napolitano, and Napolitano himself being a
Life Senator by right.
The four named by Napolitano are former premier Mario Monti,
biologist Elena Cattaneo, architect Renzo Piano and Nobel
prizewinning chemist Carlo Rubbia.

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