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Monday, October 25, 2021

Spectre of fascism and anti-Semitism stalks Italy as anger grows over ‘passports’ for the vaccinated

In the Ghetto, Mr Michetti’s remarks about the Holocaust deeply offended many Jewish people.

“Michetti is an imbecile. But imbeciles can be dangerous,” said Bruno Di Veroli, 80, who was soaking up the sunshine on a wooden bench just a few yards from the medieval palazzo where he was born.  

“The extreme Right is an ugly thing. After all these years, it should no longer exist,” he said.

Everywhere you look in the Ghetto, a tangle of cobbled lanes, kosher restaurants and bakeries, there are memories of the dark days of October 1943 when the SS rounded up more than 1,000 Italian Jews and sent them to death camps.

A chilling plaque commemorates a Jewish man named Settimio Calò who came home one day to find that his wife and nine children had been deported to Auschwitz. He never saw them again.

“His whole family was destroyed by anti-Semitic hate,” the inscription reads. Another plaque commemorates newborns who were deported and murdered. “They had not even started to live,” it says.

After the clashes on Saturday between neo-fascists and police, Rome is bracing for more trouble.

It could come as early as Friday, the day on which all Italian employees, in both the private and public sector, will have to show a “green pass” – a certificate showing either that they have been vaccinated or have tested negative to Covid-19 within the past 48 hours.

Forza Nuova and other fascist groups like CasaPound have tapped into anger among some Italians over the green pass, without which they will not be able to work.  

Although 80 per cent of Italians over the age of 12 are now vaccinated, around three million have refused the jab.

There are growing calls for Forza Nuova and other fascist movements to be banned outright by the government. But in the meantime they are gearing up for more trouble this weekend.

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