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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Italy Series at ItalianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Italian holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 20, Remembrance Day.
Do you know the story of the Holocaust? On January 27, Italy and many other countries celebrate the Day of Remembrance, or Giorno della Memoria, to commemorate the victims of Nazism and those who put their lives at risk to protect the persecuted.
In this lesson we’ll see what is done in Italy to celebrate this day.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- Do you know where the world's oldest ghetto is located?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
January 27 was chosen as the symbolic date of the end of the Holocaust, because this is the day that, in 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Russian army. The discovery of the Auschwitz camp was the first revelation to the world of the full horror of the Nazi genocide. Even in Italy there were a few concentration camps, or campi di concentramento, and one of the best known is Fossoli in Emilia Romagna, which can still be visited today.
On this day special events are organized to remember those who lost their lives, especially in the Italian cities that wer host to Nazi persecution, such as Rome, or places that are still home to Jewish communities. For example, the Monument Museum of the Deportees of Carpi hosts an extraordinary exhibition almost every year.
The Holocaust in Italy is commemorated with different artistic and literary testimonies. Undoubtedly “If This Is a Man”, “Se questo è un uomo” by Primo Levi is the representative novel of this genre. Primo Levi, a Jewish-Italian writer, lived through his deportation. As a survivor he committed himself to letting everyone know what happened in the Nazi labor camps and about the exterminations.
Among the more recent works dedicated to this tragedy is the movie “Life is Beautiful”, “La vita è bella” by Roberto Benigni, who skillfully portrayed the reality of the concentration camps while managing to bring out a smile in his viewers.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know where the world's oldest ghetto is located?
It’s located in Venice; it was created in the sixteenth century. It seems that the word "ghetto" originated from the name that was given to this place, the “gheto” – that is "foundry" in the Venetian dialect – which was formerly located in that area.
Well listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something new?
In your country, is January 27 designated as Remembrance Day?
Please leave a comment telling us at ItalianPod101.com.
See you next time!