Rome honours Holocaust survivor, paralysed swimmer and Unknown Soldier

Rome bestows honorary citizenship on Liliana Segre, Manuel Bortuzzo, and the Unknown Soldier.

Liliana Segre, the 90-year-old Italian life senator and Holocaust survivor, received honorary citizenship of Rome during a ceremony at city hall on Tuesday.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi expressed her thanks to Segre "for her precious testimony in keeping the memory of the Shoah alive."

Segre survived the horrors of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz after being deported there in 1944 at the age of 13.

Last year the Milan-born senator was placed under police protection after being subjected to a barrage of anti-Semitic messages, including death threats.

There was also honorary citizenship for Manuel Bortuzzo, the 22-year-old swimmer from Trieste who was left paralysed due to a spinal injury after being shot in a case of mistaken identity in Rome two years ago.

Manuel Bortuzzo

Raggi praised Bortuzzo as "an example for everyone, especially for his peers and the youngest, on how to overcome the difficulties that life presents us and face disability."

A promising middle-distance swimmer with his heart set on the Olympics, the shooting left Bortuzzo without the use of his legs and cost him his career. 

Now an author, Bortuzzo went on to win the hearts of the nation with his unwavering positive attitude ever since the shooting.

The mayor also conferred honorary citizenship on il Milite Ignoto, or the Unknown Soldier, a century after he was buried at the Altare della Patria monument in Piazza Venezia, as a symbol of all those who died on the battlefields.

Cover image Liliana Segre. Photo Roma Fanpage