An antisemitic note was discovered hanging on a municipal bulletin board at the Schio city council in Italy.
The sign, with several grammatical and spelling errors, read: “The Jewish senator [Liliana Segre] who asks herself where G-d was he was – where you put him, the Jew has a short memory, unlike G-d.”
The intended victim of the hateful rhetoric was Liliana Segre, an Auschwitz survivor who received honorary citizenship in the city of Trieste and several other cities across Italy in 2019 to show solidarity with her in her fight against antisemitism. In January 2018, Ms Segre was made an Italian senator by President Sergio Mattarella.
Senator Segre has been a target for online abuse, including death threats, since she first called for the establishment of a Parliamentary committee to combat racism and online hate speech in the country. She said at the time: “I appealed to the conscience of everyone and thought that a commission against hatred as a principle would be accepted by all.” Senator Segre has reported receiving in excess of 200 hate messages a day.
With such an influx of potential threats to her life, it was agreed that Senator Segre would receive police protection, and she is now accompanied in public by two paramilitary carabinieri officers.
The recent antisemitic sign on the council building in Schio has been condemned by city councilman Carlo Cunegato, who published an image of the note, and stated that acts of antisemitism in 2020 “stink of gross regression” which he hopes is simply “the madness” of an individual. He also pointed to the possibility that this is not an isolated incident. On 27th January a letter was found in Torrebelvicino, supposedly signed by the SS, that said: “Let us remember to reopen the ovens: Jews, Roma, sinti, fags, negri, communists. Free entry”.
The Major of Schio, Walter Orsi, outlined his disappointment at the note in a public statement, and reassured the community that the persons responsible would be found and held accountable. The sheet was promptly removed and investigations into the incident are ongoing.