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Los Angeles remembers the atrocities of the Holocaust with the public reading of 8,000 names and an award to Dario Gabbai (January 25, 2013)

The names of 8,000 Jews deported from Italy in World War II were read simultaneously throughout Los Angeles in four symbolic locations. The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and three schools (Milken Community High School, the Catholic School of Bishop Conaty – Lady of Loretto High School and St. Bede – The Venerable School) participated in the commemoration by hosting separate ceremonies, coordinated by the Consulate General of Italy in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and the American Jewish Committee of Los Angeles.

This special yearly event is meant to help keep the memory of the victims alive and to serve as a stark reminder of the dangers inherent in discrimination and intolerance. “Our aim is to put a face behind the names of each victim and remind that each one of them was a person whose life and dreams were disrupted by the Nazis,” stated Consul General Perrone. “Together we commemorated, educated and shared the memory by reading out loud each name throughout the city.”

A touching moment of the Day of remembrance was the presentation by Consul General Perrone of the newly established “I remember …  Mi ricordo” award to Holocaust survivor Dario Gabbai. The award is meant to recognize all those who stood out in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive and in strengthening the ties between the L.A. Jewish Community and Italy.

Gabbai was born in Thessaloniki to a Greek mother and an Italian father, and was educated in Italian schools in Greece.  On March 24, 1944 Gabbai and his entire family were captured by the Nazis and on April 1 they were sent to Auschwitz in cattle wagons. With the exception of Gabbai himself, his brother, and his two cousins, the entire family were selected for extermination and gassed the same day. Gabbai watched his parents being loaded onto the trucks that would take them to the crematoria and gas chambers.

In July 2000, the Republic of Italy proclaimed January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a Day of Remembrance to commemorate Italian Jews who were victims of the Holocaust, and all those who had risked their own lives to try and save others. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated the same day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We would like to thank Consul General Perrone for this initiative to publicly commemorate the victims of Nazi persecution and for this memorable ceremony uniting generations, nations and different religions and cultures,”  said Rabbi Mark Diamond, director of the AJC – Los Angeles. We are particularly proud that among the partners in this project are Jewish and Catholic educators who took this opportunity to further discuss with their students the tragedy of the Holocaust. 

Giorno della memoria

Discorso Console Generale Giornata della memoria

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