Nedo Fiano, father of Italian MP Emanuele Fiano, who was one of the last survivors of the Auschwitz living on Italian soil, died in Milan. He was 95 years old. For some time he had been in hospice care together with his wife Rina Lattes. Il bel paese paid tribute to Fiano’s tireless work in educating young Italians about racism, the racial laws and the Shoah.
“What defined my whole life – Fiano used to say – was my deportation to the Nazi extermination camps. My whole family ended up in Auschwitz and they were all exterminated. At age 18, I was orphaned and this devastating experience made me a different man, a witness for the rest of my life.”
Jewish communities and political leaders from both the Italian right and left sent sympathy notes.
Secretary of Italy’s Democratic Party Nicola Zingaretti said ,”From today the world is poorer.” President of the European Parliament David Sassoli stated: “The kingdom of the righteous is his home.” Attestations of profound esteem for Fiano came from partisan associations. “After surviving the extermination camp of Auschwitz, Nedo Fiano dedicated his life to witnessing the horrors of the Shoah. He leaves us today at the age of 95. A hug to @emanuelefiano and all his loved ones,” tweeted House Speaker Roberto Fico. The Honorary Consul of Israel for Tuscany and Lombardy Marco Carrai extended his condolences to his family and the Jewish communities of Florence, Rome and Milan, certain that the Most High will comfort them among the mourners in Zion and Jerusalem.
“Nedo was a witness to the horrors of a past that must never again occur and an example of life for entire generations,” wrote Carrai.
“A man and a brother – wrote the Gran Master of the Freemasons Stefano Bisi – who with his testimony and commitment enriched us by passing on the memory of a tragedy. We will continue to remember him in our hearts as we carry on his mission. May that the darkness of hatred not prevail over the light of reason.”
In his book A 5405. The Courage to Live, Fiano recounted his experience as a deportee. On his arm, the Nazis burned the mark with the number assigned to him in the death camp, but his heart and his freedom has always been stronger than the horror of barbed wire and the denial of humanity.