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Italian Prime Minister Attends Commemoration Ceremony in Rome


Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti addressed a commemoration ceremony on 16 October marking the 69th anniversary of the roundup and deportation of Roman Jews to Auschwitz.

It was the first time an Italian premier attended the annual commemoration.

Prime Minister Monti was joined by the Mayor of Rome, government ministers, and other officials.   He spoke before several thousand people gathered outside Rome's Great Synagogue to mark the anniversary.

The event was co-organized by the Roman Jewish Community and the Community of Sant'Egidio.  A torchlight memorial march from the Trastevere area to Rome's main synagogue took place before the speeches. Participants lined up behind a black banner saying "There is no future without memory."

In his address, Monti strongly supported efforts to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial. He stated that this "means also assuming a responsibility to combat every form of antisemitism and racism, and to work so that minorities are protected and not discriminated against."

Remembering what had happened is "the way to preserve our history and to draw lessons for the present and, above all, for the future," Monti declared.