The author with the aforementioned sentence “If this is a man” wants to help us understand and understand how important and necessary it is to remember what happened more than sixty-five years ago regarding the Shoah.
With this evocative message, he addresses in particular to the new generations who have not been direct witnesses on the facts of genocide of the Jews and of the deportees in general, so that this message remains well impressed in their mind and helps not to be deceived by the false propaganda right-wing extremist groups, which tend to deny the historical truth of the Holocaust.
The same new generations, who having in mind the mistakes and negative experiences of the past, can face their future better and with more confidence and awareness. It is no coincidence that major institutions have felt a strong civic and moral duty to remember, in a significant and constant way over time, the millions of victims of the Holocaust, establishing the “day of remembrance” which occurs on January 27 every year and “the day of remembrance” established on February 10 of each year in memory of the Italian victims of sinkholes.
On these sad occasions, the visit to the gloomy and squalid places where deportation and genocide took place (Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz, Dachau, Birkenau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen and also the little-known platform twenty-one of the Milan railway station from which translated by Italian deportees), arouses in all of us, in the memory of the testimonies learned, feelings of unease and emotion, thinking back to the fact that in those same places, many years ago, tragic events and real family dramas took place. Whole families had to separate and say goodbye with heartbreaking farewells not knowing what happened to them and if ever one day they could meet again.
Through reading books and memorials, written by survivors and also by those who unfortunately could not survive, but still left a memory of their experience, taken up and published years later by the survivors, I was able to document myself on their real-life experiences. , lived in inhumane conditions, interned in gloomy Nazi concentration camps or in hiding with the daily fear and terror of being discovered and deported.
Primo Levi and Anna Frank were direct witnesses of the darkest period of the last century, the one that culminated in the hunt for Jews and ethnic minorities, in concentration and extermination camps, following the abominable logic of the superior Aryan race. Both have experienced firsthand, albeit in a different way, human cruelty, the animal state, to which man, blinded by aberrant doctrines and idealisms, can regress.
Without all these direct testimonies of those who lived in that hell, without the photographs, the videos, the miserable remains of those sadly famous places, we would find it hard to believe how the human soul can be pushed towards that stage of decay and madness. .
If from past history we can draw a useful lesson for the present and the future, the fact that even today we continue to look with suspicion, if not even with hatred, at all that is other and different, the fact that we continue to flaunt continually anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia, should worry us not a little. Either we have not grasped any teaching from past history or the human soul contains within itself so much hatred and evil that these teachings are destined, in many cases, to fall on deaf ears.