Writing with Light

Farewell Hero

Directly across the river from Trastevere is the old Jewish Ghetto of Rome. The ghetto was built in 1555 to keep the Roman Jewish population separate from the rest of society. At the time, this 4 block area housed approximately 1,000 people but in time the Jewish population within the ghetto walls grow to 4,000. The ghetto had 3 gates that were locked at night to keep the Jews in. Outside each gate the Romans built a church in order to encourage the Jews to convert to Christianity. In 1870 during the unification of Italy the new Italian government ended the oppression and the walls of the ghetto were torn down.

Less then 100 years later the oppression and persecution began again in earnest. Largo Square is in the Jewish Ghetto. On the wall within the square is a plaque that reads “Largo – 16 Ottobre 1943” This is the day that the Nazis demanded that the community pay over 100 lbs of gold within 24 hours or the Jews that lived in the ghetto would be taken to the concentration camps. Both Jews and non-Jews came together and met the demand. The Nazis took the gold but they also took 2,100 Jews away. At the end of the war only 7 survivors returned.

On the day that we visited the ghetto I was touched by some freshly spray painted writing that was on the side of the Jewish Day School. One of the Holocaust survivors had passed away the previous day.

It reads as follows: “Farewell Hero. We will not forget you.”  The number preceding this inscription was his Auschwitz number tattoo.

Today this little four block neighbourhood, while still called the Jewish Ghetto is home to both Jews and non-Jews alike.

Synagogue & Jewish Museum of Rome

15 responses

  1. Great images Edith. Really poignant and they go so well with the sad history of this area. Your write-up shows hat despite evil, there are people who band together with one another.


    September 16, 2011 at 10:05 am

  2. Great work Edith. The shots are beautiful on their own, but are made even better with your touching story. Certainly one of your best posts.


    September 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

  3. Nice set of images Edith. I like your processing on the graffiti wall shot. Well done.


    September 16, 2011 at 11:23 am

  4. A.Barlow

    That’s crazy. And a sad. 😐

    Nice read and images to go with it today. TY for sharing.


    September 16, 2011 at 11:45 am

  5. Jamie Cheslo

    Well done, Edith. Beautiful processing.


    September 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

  6. Absolutely fabulous post today, I was totally touched and moved here. I love how your wonderful photography really helped to paint the picture of the story you shared with us… top drawer work here, Edith, many thanks for sharing this.


    September 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

  7. Such a sad story, the images really make this hit home. Thanks for sharing.


    September 17, 2011 at 1:08 am

  8. A very moving story and one that should continue to be told Edith. Europe is full of similar dark stories Im afraid.


    September 17, 2011 at 4:20 am

  9. Really enjoyed reading this, Edith. These great images enhance the story, albeit a sad and unfortunate one. Nice job putting this together.


    September 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

  10. Great images Edith. However, the one of the graffiti and the man’s story is especially touching. Thanks for sharing it with us.


    September 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

  11. Interesting post. Well told through your photos.


    September 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

  12. A poignant history…we should never forget! Great images accompanying. :O)


    September 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

  13. Pingback: Amazing Photography Links, Tuts and Images You May Have Missed | TheWorld365 | Nuno & Debora Photography

  14. Pingback: Amazing Photography Links, Tuts and Images You May Have Missed » Beauty life

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