The incident marks the umpteenth antisemitic episode in a few weeks.
The Italian flag waves over the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy May 30, 2018 / (photo credit: REUTERS/TONY GENTILE)
A Star of David and the word “Jude” drawn with a black marker were found on Sunday morning in Turin on the front door of the apartment of Marcello Segre, a Jewish banker and the head of a local charity well known in the city, Italian media reported on Monday.
The incident marks the umpteenth similar episode in Italy in less than a month, with antisemitic writings defacing the doors or walls of houses belonging to Jewish families, former deportees, resistance fighters and their descendants.
“I called the police in tears. They asked me, ‘But do these things still happen in 2020?’ Obviously yes. It’s serious, 30 years have passed since such incidents were happening. At the beginning, I didn’t want to believe it. I thought of not saying anything publicly but then I decided it was better not to keep silent,” Segre told the Italian daily La Repubblica.
Segre also said that he was not afraid and that he felt the support of the city, including from Mayor Chiara Appennino and from the President of the Piedmont Region Alberto Cirio.
Asked if he was going to remove the graffiti, he said “I am thinking about it. Until someone forces me to do it, I won’t.”
On January 24, only three days ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, which Italy marks with hundreds of initiatives at national as well as local level, graffiti reading “Juden Hier” (Jews here) was uncovered in the Piedmont city of Mondovì on the front door of the son of Lidia Rolfi, a partisan fighter deported to Ravensbruck.
Since then, swastikas and antisemitic insults have appeared on doors and walls all over the country.
Only one day before the Turin incident, on Saturday, a swastika was discovered on the house of Auschwitz survivor Arianna Szorenyi in a small town in the Friuli region.
On January 31, the annual report by the Italian research institute Eurispes found that more than 15% of Italians believe that the Holocaust never happened, marking an alarming rise since 2004, when such position was expressed only by 2.7% of the respondents.