May 05, 2016

Categories of Extermination (poster) in the Museum of the Liberation of Rome

Categories of Extermination (poster)
The poster shown in the photo is among documents and artifacts in the Museum of the Liberation of Rome, the former headquarters of the Gestapo terror apparatus during the German occupation of Rome during World War II. The building contained a prison in which Jews and political opponents — members of the Italian Resistance were incarcerated and tortured.

Half a day was not long enough for me to explore carefully documentation on the persecution of Rome’s Jews (with copies of newspaper reports and posters imposing bans and anti-Jewish orders), underground struggles (including resistance manifestos and handbills, and torture and murders of its members), and in some torture cells, messages on life and freedom etched in the plaster walls and other graffiti by prisoners often nearing death.

On this somber day in Israel, we are marking Holocaust Remembrance and Heroism Day when we remember approximately 6 million Jews, among them 1.5 million children who were annihilated during the Holocaust. As we pledge to never forget, may we remember also 5 million more who perished during this tragic episode in human history, among them Gypsies/Roma, Serbs, Polish intelligentsia, resistance fighters from all nations, German opponents of Nazism, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, people with disabilities, habitual criminals, and the "antisocial," such as beggars, vagrants, and hawkers.

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