Sunday Star-Times

Survivor senator


A Jewish woman who was one of the few Italian children to survive deportatio­n to a Nazi death camp in World War II has been made a senator-for-life in Italy. President Sergio Mattarella’s office said yesterday that he chose Liliana Segre, 87, for the honour because she had made the nation proud with her commitment to telling schoolchil­dren about the Holocaust. Italy is marking 80 years since the country introduced Fascist-era laws discrimina­ting against the country’s tiny Jewish minority. Segre and her family went into hiding after the laws were introduced, and were arrested in 1943. For decades, Segre appeared reluctant to discuss her experience­s in Auschwitz, but in the 1990s she began speaking to students throughout Italy. Senators-for-life vote in the Italian parliament’s upper chamber along with regularly elected senators. They are considered role models because of their achievemen­ts, and include figures from politics, business, the arts and science.

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