Book Creator

Lilliana Segre

by Zmas George


Liliana Segre is an Italian Holocaust survivor, named Senator for life by President Sergio Mattarella in 2018 for outstanding patriotic merits in the social field.
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Born in 1930, in Milan into a family of Jewish origins, Segre lived with her father Alberto and her paternal grandparents, Giuseppe Segre and Olga Loevvy. Her mother, Lucia Foligno, died when Liliana was not yet one year old.
Her family was secular, and the awareness of being Jewish came to Liliana only after the drama of the Italian Racial Laws of 1938, after which she was expelled from school.
After the persecution of the Italian Jews, her father hid her at a friend's home, using false documents. On 10 December 1943, at the age of thirteen, together with her father, Lilliana tried to flee to Switzerland, but both were rejected by the Swiss authorities. The next day, she was arrested by fascists in Varese.
On 30 January 1944, Lilliana was deported from platform 21 of the Milan Central railway station to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she arrived seven days later. She was immediately separated from her father Alberto, whom she never saw again and who would be killed on 27 April 1944. On 18 May 1944 her paternal grandparents were arrested in Como, and deported after a few weeks to Auschwitz, where they were also killed on their arrival on the 30 June.
"We were afraid of that morning. We had never been in this underground before. And it was so quick, everything; with dogs, with lights - in the eyes - and very, very bad behaviour of the soldiers - of the Italians too, the Fascists, not just the Germans."

"And it was a few minutes; from the street to the train was maybe three minutes, not more. And then we realised that in these three minutes our lives had changed forever."
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