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Rome mayor condemns threats against Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre

Rome mayor accompanied 145 school students to Auschwitz this week.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi has described as "inexcusable" the threats made against 89-year-old Italian life senator and Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre, who has been placed under police protection for her own safety.

Earlier this week Raggi accompanied 145 students from Rome schools to the Auschwitz concentration camp from whose horrors Segre survived after being deported there in 1944 at the age of 13.

Raggi said: "It is very serious that in 2019 there is someone who tries to offend without shame the victim of a terrible persecution, who survived the [concentration] camps. This way of relating to a part of our history and offending a person like Senator Segre has no excuse and must be absolutely condemned."

The Milan-born senator has been subjected to a barrage of anti-Semitic messages in recent days, receiving up to 200 hate-mails a day - including death threats - prompting the prefect of Milan to place her under police protection.

The harassment began when Segre called for an Italian parliamentary commission to investigate and combat all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, incitement to hatred and violence on ethnic and religious grounds.

The motion passed despite a lack of support from Italy's right-wing parties whose members abstained from the vote and remained seated in silence while the governing parties gave Segre a standing ovation.

"I appealed to the conscience of everyone and thought that a commission against hatred as a principle would be accepted by all," Segre told Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, adding that the absentions made her feel “like a Martian.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, has described the hate messages against the 89-year-old Holocaust survivor as "shame on Italy."

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