Remembering the Shoah in Florence

Remembering the Shoah in Florence

On November 9, 1943, the first train left Florence for Auschwitz, deporting about 300 Jews from Florence.

Mon 09 Nov 2020 5:40 PM

On November 9, 1943, the first train left Florence for Auschwitz, deporting about 300 Jews from Florence and elsewhere, women, elderly men and children who had been captured by the Nazis during raids three days before. Only 15 of them returned home.




Remembering the Shoah in Florence in 2020


Every year, the Jewish Community of Florence, the city administration and representatives from all of Tuscany’s religious, military and civil associations commemorate the deportation with a ceremony held on Platform 16 of Santa Maria Novella station. Students from local schools lay wreaths beside the commemorative monument by Nicola Rossini, which was installed at the beginning of the train track in 2013 to mark the seventieth anniversary of the tragedy.


“Meeting up every year on Platform 16 to remember the past and focus on the issues of intolerance and racism, which unfortunately continue to occur around us, makes us understand how essential it is not only to commemorate these moments but also and above all to work with the young generation to make them aware of the fight against discrimination and antisemitism,” commented Sara Funaro, city councillor for education, at the ceremony. City councillor Alessandro Martini, the president of the regional council of Tuscany Antonio Mazzeo, monsignor Vasco Giuliani, Rabbi Gadi Piperno, Imam Izzedin Elzir, and the president of the Jewish Community of Florence Enrico Fink were all in attendance at the smaller-than-usual ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions.


This year’s November 9 Shoah memorial was also held online. A video sharing the memory of the tragic deposition was published on the Jewish Community of Florence’s website, Facebook page and on YouTube. The footage shows the names of all those deported from Florence, as stated on the plaques in the Synagogue’s gardens, accompanied by an emotional rendition of “Lo amut” from Psalm 118 sang by deceased Rabbi Fernando Belgrado.

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