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Gheula Canarutto Nemni

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October 2018

October 1943. When the Holocaust arrived to the Ghetto of Rome

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October 16th 1943

It was shabbat and the third day of sukkot.

The adults woke up in the middle of night at the noise of shotguns and shouts. The children ran into their parents bed. When everything became silent again, they finally  fell asleep.

In the courtyard of the synagogue the sukkah was waiting for the Jews of Rome to enter and pronounce a blessing.

The prayer shawls were bent the previous day and were waiting to be worn again.

The perfume of the cedar and of the myrtle wafted in the air of the dark synagogue.

It was October 16th, 1943

It was supposed to be another festival day.

Men, women and children were ready to wear their best outfits and walk in the ghetto streets wishing one to the other ‘shabbat shalom e chag sameach’.

The tables were still to be set with the little amount of food that you could buy  with the food ration cards.

A few days before that day, the Nazis had summoned up the chiefs of the Jewish community and threatened them to deport 200 Jews if they did not bring 50 kilos, 100 pounds, of pure gold, in thirty six hours.

The Jews of Rome showered in the office of the Jewish community and offered wedding rings, earrings received for the anniversary, necklaces belonged to the grandmother, until the amount of gold was reached. The gold was collected and brought to the SS col. Herbert Kappler. The Jews of the Ghetto thought this was the price they had to pay to survive the war.

But after a few days, the regular noises of via Portico d’Ottavia, via S. Ambrogio and via del Pianto, were interrupted by the strong noise of the trucks engines and motorbikes, of the soldier boots and of the barking dogs.

Orders shouted in German replaced the joyous festival songs, human beings were thrown into trucks as they were mere objects, mothers and fathers cried feeling on their own skin the imminent detachment from their children, babies were thrown into strangers arms with the hope to save them from deportation and death.

The square was full of people whose dreams, projects, thoughts, were so similar to those of their fellow citizens.

The Jews of Rome had woke up until the previous day, to go and work and earn their livelihood  as millions of other Italians.

But that day they have been reminded of their difference. They have been loaded on trucks and sealed trains which destination is written in giant characters: Auschwitz, a name they have never heard before. Their guilt is irreparable. They are the offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

October 16th, 2018.

When you walk in the streets of the ghetto, if you turn down your eyes on the street, you can read the name, the date of birth and death, of the Italian Jews whose life was interrupted by a murderous hate.

In those same streets where trucks loaded Jews, you can see children coming out from the Jewish school and  walking with their kippah, their yarmulke, on their heads, while hundreds of tourists are eating in the kosher restaurants.

In the Tempio Centrale, the main synagogue, you can hear the same sounds that have been heard with almost no interruption for the last two thousand years.

Our brothers, who were deported and who never came back,

We will catch your prayers where they were interrupted,

We will open your prayer shawls that you have never opened again,

We will say the kiddush that you couldn’t recite anymore,

We will celebrate the festivals, pesach, Shavuot, that you could not share with your beloved and we will finish that sukkot that you were suddenly deprived from.

They have tried to annihilate our bodies in endless ways.

But our spirit, our soul, our attachment to G-d, are indestructible and above all.

Am Israel Chai.

Gheula Canarutto Nemni

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16 ottobre 1943

16 ottobre 1943

E’ shabat e il terzo giorno della festa di sukot.

Gli adulti sono stati svegliati nel corso della notte dal rumore di spari e di grida. I bambini sono corsi nei letti dei genitori per cercare conforto dallo spavento di quei rumori funesti. Finalmente hanno tutti ripreso sonno.

Nel cortile del Tempio la sukà aspetta che gli ebrei romani entrino dentro a fare una brachà.

I talitot, ripiegati il giorno prima, sono in attesa di venire di nuovo indossati. Il profumo di cedro e delle foglie di mirto, inondano la sala buia della sinagoga.

Correva il 16 ottobre 1943.

Avrebbe dovuto essere un altro giorno di festa.

Uomini, donne e bambini avrebbero indossato i propri vestiti migliori e si sarebbero riversati nelle strade del ghetto augurandosi ‘shabbat shalom e chag sameach’.

Le tavole sarebbero state imbandite a festa con il poco cibo acquistabile con le tessere annonarie.

Invece i rumori quotidiani di via Portico d’Ottavia, di via S. Ambrogio e di via del Pianto sono stati improvvisamente interrotti dai motori rombanti di camion e motociclette, dagli stivali dei soldati e dai latrati die cani.

La confusione gioiosa della festa è stata rimpiazzata da ordini urlati in tedesco, da esseri umani gettati come oggetti, da pianti disperati di madri e padri che sentivano sulla propria pelle il dolore del distacco imminente dai propri figli, da pianti strazianti di figli gettati in braccio a sconosciuti con la speranza di strapparli alla deportazione e alla morte.

La piazza si riempie di persone con sogni, progetti, pensieri, simili a quelli dei propri concittadini.

Esseri umani che si sono svegliati fino al giorno prima per andare a lavorare e guadagnarsi da vivere come milioni di altre persone. Individui caricati su camion e treni piombati con l’accusa di essere la stirpe di Abramo, Isacco e Giacobbe.

Corre il 16 ottobre 2018.

Nelle strade del ghetto, se si volge lo sguardo a terra si possono leggere i nomi, le date di nascita e di morte, delle persone strappate alla vita da un odio assassino.

Nelle stesse strade escono bambini con la kipà in testa dalla scuola ebraica, intorno ci sono decine di ristoranti kasher.

Nel Tempio Centrale risuonano gli stessi suoni che si sono uditi per quasi  duemila anni fa.

Fratelli deportati e mai più ritornati, riprenderemo le vostre preghiere da dove sono state interrotte,

riapriremo il vostro talit che non avete mai più riaperto,

faremo il kidush che voi non avete mai più potuto fare,

celebreremo le feste, pesach, shavuot che non avete mai più vissuto

e termineremo il sukot che vi hanno rubato.

 

Hanno provato ad annientare i nostri corpi in tutti i modi.

Ma il nostro spirito, la nostra anima, il nostro attaccamento a D-o sono indistruttibili e al di sopra di tutto.

Am Israel Chay

Gheula Canarutto Nemni16 ottoibre 1943

 

E se tu fossi più potente di quello che pensi?

Tutto iniziò da lì.

Da quei minimi, silenziosi, quasi impercettibili, atti immorali.

Il degrado non ebbe inizio tutto d’un colpo, ma seguì una lenta, continua e inarrestabile, evoluzione.

Erano passati 1656 anni dalla creazione del mondo, dall’istante in cui Adamo era stato cacciato dal giardino dell’Eden.

La voce di D-o che domandava ad Adamo: dove sei?

sembrava far parte di un passato molto remoto.

Gli uomini iniziarono rubando piccole somme di denaro, così limitate da non essere nemmeno prese in considerazione dalla legge.

Le loro anime, abituate alle piccole trasgressioni, si fecero forza e osarono di più.

Diventò consuetudine prendere la donna d’altri, dare vita a relazioni proibite senza vergogna.

Quando D-o si affacciò al mondo e vide da dove era tutto partito e a che punto era arrivato, dichiarò che l’uomo aveva superato ogni limite.

Dopo centovent’anni mandò il diluvio, spazzando via ogni cosa all’infuori di Noach, Noè e la sua arca.

Questa settimana Vogue Arabia racconta la storia di Ahed Tamimi, la ragazza diciassettenne diventata simbolo della ‘resistenza palestinese’.

Una ragazza cresciuta in una famiglia definita di ‘attivisti’ dai media italiani e internazionali.

Una famiglia che le ha insegnato a farsi portavoce di messaggi come ‘Ciascuno deve fare la sua parte, accoltellando, lanciando pietre o cercando il martirio’.

Qualche settimana, su Vanity Fair, Daria Bignardi ha definito Ahed Tamimi ‘un’icona palestinese’.

Quando D-o decise di distruggere l’intera umanità con il diluvio, non lo fece né per la gravità degli atti immorali né per l’idolatria.

La terra si era riempita di hamas, di furti, dice la Torà.

Il mondo civile aveva concesso spazio a piccole, quasi innocue, trasgressioni alla legge.

E da lì è iniziato tutto.

Il declino di una società non arriva tutto d’un colpo. Inizia lentamente. Con qualche parola, con alcune immagini, con silenzi assensi.

Il mondo civile oggi concede spazio a interviste innocue, a manifestazioni pacifiche, all’uso di parole che lentamente, continuamente e inarrestabilmente, si insinuano nell’immaginario collettivo, facendo risorgere un nuovo antisemitismo.

Non esiste una trasgressione troppo piccola.

Non esiste una parola che non abbia il suo peso.

Fare passare una terrorista per un’icona è un piccolo, silente passo verso la formulazione di una nuova moralità di cui si conosce l’inizio.

E di cui si dovrebbe temere la continuazione.

Un piccolo passo può avere un enorme peso. Nel bene e nel male.

Gheula Canarutto Nemni

Why Condé Nast and Vogue do not respect Jews

An open letter to Robert A. Sauerberg, president and CEO of Condé Nast.

On October 4, 2018, Vogue Arabia published a letter by Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who is becoming an icon, despite the culture she represents.

My name is Raya Schijveschuurder. Today I would be 31 years old.

I would be probably married and I would have my own children.

They would be the same age of my little brothers who were 2 and 4 years old when they were killed together with my parents and me, inside a pizza store in Jerusalem, seventeen years ago.

We were a happy family until 2 pm of August 9th 2001. We were eight children, four girls and four boys, the perfect balance. My parents were still young, 43 and 41 years old.

But that day we were hungry.

And we wished for a pizza and some Coke.

And my parents decided to take us to Sbarro, one of the most famous pizza stores of Jerusalem.

I chose a pizza with mushroom and olives topping.

And my mother asked me: are you sure you will like it?

These were the last words I heard from her.

A few minutes Ahlam Tamimi brought Izzadin al Masri until the entrance of Sbarro.

Tamimi knew perfectly the store would be packed at that hour. She had been studying that place for a long time.

Al Masri had a guitar with him, but from that guitar no music note would have been played.

As he entered the store that guitar played a death music, throwing 20 pounds of nails, screws and explosives in men, women and children bodies.

We have just washed our hands as Jews use to do before eating the bread.

But I never ate that pizza.

I was blown up and killed by nails that pierced my heart, my liver, my vital organs.

In a few seconds my parents, my brothers, Shoshana Greenbaum, a pregnant woman, other ten people and me, were transformed in shreds of meat.

My grandparents were Dutch.

During the war they were deported from Holland to concentration camps.

They survived to all their families and tried to build a normal life in that same country that offered them death.

They pushed their children to go and live in Israel, the only place in the world where Jews would never be discriminated for their religion.

My parents tried to build a new life in that tiny country.

But Ahlam Tamimi decided that even there Jews do not have the right to live.

When they announced in the radio there had been a martyrdom attack at the Sbarro restaurant and that three people were killed, I admit I was a little bit disappointed because I had hoped for a larger toll’, she tells in an interview.

‘Have you ever thought about the families, the children, who were victims of this attack?’ Tamimi smiles ‘No’.

Ahed Tamimi, the seventeen years old teenager who became the symbol of ‘Palestinian resistance’ was brought up in these values. Ahlam Tamimi is her aunt. Her family was defined by international media as an ‘activist family’

Vogue Arabia, a magazine that belongs to Conde Nast group, has just published Ahed Tamimi letter.

In this letter Tamimi writes: I wanted to become a football player but I don’t play here because there is no time. Instead, I have been involved in demonstrations and confrontations with the Israeli army since I was a child.

 

I went on Conde Nast code of Ethics, where you can find the following words:

Reaching more than 270 million consumers across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, we are committed to delivering beautiful, influential content and brand experiences for individuals who demand to be inspired.

And I asked myself:

Does Conde Nast think Ahed Tamimi words should inspire  its readers?

Does Conde Nast agree that children, instead of becoming football players, should be raised in the dream to become martyrs one day?

“I hope that everyone will take part in the demonstrations as this is the only means to achieve the result. Whether it is stabbings or martyrdom operations or throwing stones, everyone must do his part and we must unite in order for our message to be heard that we want to liberate Palestine”

These are the words that Tamimi says on Facebook to her followers. 

We pride ourselves in respecting the individual no matter what gender, race, religion or orientation. We are committed to doing business in an ethical way, with honesty, integrity and humanity.

This is the message you can find on Conde Nast website.

Dear Conde Nast, mr. Robert A. Sauerberg,

you have proved to be committed to doing business.

But with this article that celebrates a teenager who was raised in death and martyrdom values, a girl whose aunt helped killing more than 15 human beings guilty of being Jews, you have not only lost many Jewish readers..

You have lost your commitment to integrity and humanity.

Gheula Canarutto Nemni

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