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Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

October 17, 2012

Italian Prime Minister says he will stand by country’s Jews

http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/italian_prime_minister_says_he_will_stand_by_countrys_jews

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Sept. 27. Photo by REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Sept. 27. Photo by REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Italy’s prime minister promised Italian Jews he would stand beside them in the fight against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

“We know that anti-Semitism has not been eradicated in Europe,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said at a ceremony Tuesday night marking the 69th anniversary of the World War II round-up and deportation of 1,024 Roman Jews to Auschwitz. “We will not leave you alone.”

Monti, who was joined by Rome's mayor, several government ministers and other officials, spoke before several thousand people gathered outside Rome’s Great Synagogue to mark the anniversary. Earlier, many had taken part in a torchlight memorial march through the city.

Monti promised that the government would act against mounting racial prejudice and xenophobia in Europe.

Remembering racist persecution during World War II, he said, “means also assuming a responsibility: to combat every form of anti-Semitism and racism and to work so that minorities are protected and not discriminated against.”

Warning against the dangers of Holocaust denial and revisionism, Monti urged people to remember what Holocaust survivor Primo Levi once wrote: “Those who deny Auschwitz are ready to do it again.”

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