On October 16, just days after Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel’s citizens, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella and Rome’s Mayor Roberto Gualtieri led the March of the Living in Rome. Holocaust survivors, representatives of the Jewish community in Rome, senior representatives of the International March of the Living, and a great-grandchild of a Holocaust survivor from Rome marched with them. The march began in the center of Rome and concluded at the Great Synagogue in the city’s Jewish ghetto. It was escorted by a heavy security presence to ensure the safety of the participants amid growing threats against Jewish communities and institutions.
The deportation of Rome’s Jews began on October 16, 1943; more than 1,000 were sent to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Speakers talked about the terrible resemblances between then and now.