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Oltre i confini - ebrei e zingari - Text fragments

(...) These are difficult times, we live in days of great confusion. Let us begin by saying that we are one-eyed as far as having an ethical and just attitude is concerned. We all know the meaning of the term "Shoah" today. Almost no one knows the term "Porraimos", the name given to the annihilation of the Gipsy people. I am amazed at the casual behaviour of some of our politicians, who very much like to be "nice" to the Jews: it costs nothing nowadays, on the contrary, you get prizes for it as if you had played the lottery. That is why from now on, I will judge a person as decent when they don't make a fake pilgramage to Auschwitz and say: "I can go there and rebuild my political virginity and when it's my turn, I can declare 'I am an Israeli'.".

Bizarre. And legitimate, mind you, because Israel carries a part of the heritage of the Shoah, there's no arguing that. Many Jews who survived the Shoah founded the state of Israel, there's no doubt about it. But it's only a part, because Israel cannot represent the Romany and Sinto, it cannot represent the homosexuals, the handicapped, Jehovah's Witnesses or all those categories exterminated by the Nazis because they didn't fit their values. It probably can't even represent the entirety of diasporic Jews. Let us remember that 13 million people were exterminated in the Nazi death camps; of these, 6 million were Jews, 500.000 Romany and Sinto, while the rest were Slavs, anti-fascists, those who gave their life to save a Jew or a Gipsy, prostitutes and so on.

It is of the utmost importance to understand that memory, if subservient to propaganda, is a devastation: if the Shoah loses its universal value, if it is not understood that in the Jew, the Gipsy, the homosexual, the cripple, the Nazis murdered man, fragile man, free man , the man capable of thought – and the Nazis were not partial to thinking but to obedience; thought is what they wanted to eradicate – then it all stops making sense.

We must all begin to learn the word Porraimos very well, and we must also learn the existence of a place called Jasenovac, the death camp of the Croatian ustascias, where it is likely that tens of thousands of Serbs, Romany and Jews were murdered. A death camp which was the same in every way to the Nazi camps. We must remember all this if we want to have a true, deap memory, a fertile memory for the future of our children. (...)


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