Nazifascist persecutions in Rome, Italy and Europe provoked hundreds of thousands of refugees and fugitives. Many suffered imprisonment in working , internment and extermination camps.
But some of them experienced another story; a story of brotherhood, love, solidariety. Our project intends to honour those who hosted these refugees at home helping them to survive, while risking their life and asking for nothing.
The Garden of the Righteous among Nations was a place to celebrate these people. Evergeen trees were planted by the Jewish Community. The first garden was the Yad Vashem with its Avenue of the Righteous surrounded by carob trees.
A carob tree is not by chance since it takes 70 years to give fruit and is a symbol of fertility and solidariety.
But today the memory of these generous people is fading or ignored in the districts and the houses they lived in, where they gave shelter to those combed by Nazifascists.
People living today in the same house, the same building do not know what those walls saw and lived.
“Il Civico Giusto” - an epiphany of Fabrizio Fantera, the son of Bruno Fantera, Righteous among Nations remembered in Yad Vashem – is a project to honour those people who refused to act as if nothing had happened in the darkest hour of European history.
These women and men hid Jews, partisans, political opponents at their own risk and they did it for free. They did not ask whose religion and whose origin they belonged to: they simply opened their doors to other human beings.
“Il Civico Giusto” is a site where someone disobeyed a violent external order, letting prevail a dangerous inner disposition: protecting a victim of persecution while exposing him/herself to persecution as well. But all this was secretely hidden without any track. At the end of war nothing appeared and most of these brave people kept all these events into their hearts, considering them like normal in a very exceptional situation. Not a word was said.
The risk for remembrance to be buried into silence means its disappearance whereas those acts changed the life and destiny of people, feeding the world.
Our project intends to bring back those trees in their districts and homes in order to let their fruit ripen into new generations, spreading new seeds of solidariety, brotherhood and integration. That’s why our symbol is a carob tree to remind the many in the Gardens of the Righteous all over the world.
Our aim is to mark and identify those buildings where the refugees found a safe haven thanks to the courage of their inhabitants.
We start from Rome but, through collections of depositions, we intend to involve the whole Europe because the torch of humanity can shine even in the darkest hours .
A qualified city database (please check www.ilcivicogiusto.it ), will fix all these stories into the soul of Rome. A free resource always in progress will help researchers and citizens (firstname.lastname@example.org ).