A renowned Holocaust survivor from Italy was appointed last week as senator for life, a great honor granted only to citizens who have made outstanding contributions to society.
Liliana Segre, who was deported to Auschwitz from Milan when she was 13, was one of few to make it back home. She began telling her story in the 1990s, and has since become one of the most public witnesses of the Shoah in Italy, bringing her testimony into many Italian schools.
Italian president Sergio Mattarella called her on Friday to announce the appointment. Segre said the phone call came as “a bolt from the blue.” The survivor, who is now 87, said that she’s never been an active politician; her goal, she continued, will be to “pass on the memory” and to bring to life the voices of the thousands of Italian Jews who suffered the humiliation of the Racial Laws in 1938. After the Nazis occupied the country, about 10,000 Jews were deported, mainly to Auschwitz, nearly 8,000 of whom died.
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