The Consulate of Italy and the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan recently commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a film screening titled “The Last Time We Were Children.” The event focused on remembrance and the Italian commitment to combating xenophobia and discrimination. Consul Allegra Baistrocchi introduced the event to an audience of almost 300 people, mainly members from the Italian, Jewish, and Italian-American communities. The screening was open to the public and garnered a captivated audience.

The “Giorno della Memoria” in Italy was established in 2000, and Italy played a key role within the UN in marking January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the day Allied troops broke through the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

The film was introduced by the Consulate of Italy, the Dante Alighieri Society of Michigan, and the JCRC/AJC (Jewish Community Relations Council / American Jewish Committee). Rabbi Asher Lopatin and Carol Ogusky, daughter of Holocaust survivors and Co-Chair of the Diplomatic Committee of the JCRC/AJC, also expressed gratitude for Italy’s continuous support and advocacy for human rights, the end of hate speech, and the fight against antisemitism.

Consul Baistrocchi emphasized the importance of commemorating, especially in light of the tragic events at this historic conjunction. She stressed that “to remember is to possess and to protect the memory from oblivion, with the hope that this will help prevent acts of hate, acts of racism, and acts of discrimination.”

The film, “The Last Time We Were Children,” directed by comedian Claudio Bisio, tells the story of three children who search for a friend who disappeared during the Nazi raid of the Jewish ghetto in Rome. Its focus on friendship, unaffected by religion or social upbringing, resonated with the audience, evoking laughter and tears.
~~Consulate of Italy