A Holocaust survivor who has been given a police escort due to anti-Semitic threats was hailed on 10 December in Milan by hundreds of supporters.
“I have known hatred. I have known what it means to be a reject of the society to which I believed I belonged”, Liliana Segre, an 89-year-old senator-for-life, told the crowd.
“I heard the words of hatred, hateful and insulting, and I saw with my eyes the realization of a ferocious program prepared from hatred,” Segre said.
She was only 13 when she was deported to Auschwitz. She later became an activist against racism and hate, and played a key role last month in the establishment of the Segre commission, a parliamentary panel against hate, racism and anti-Semitism.
She, however, became the target of anti-Semitic threats on social media, and after the creation of the Segre commission, was put under police protection.
The march was organized by the Italian mayor’s association. People cheered from the sidelines, carrying a banner reading: “Hatred has no future”, and singing the anti-fascist song “Bella Ciao”.
Recently, Italy has seen a significant rise in anti-Semitic attacks, particularly online. Earlier this month, the online store Amazon drew controversy for selling Christmas ornaments decorated with images of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.