I say corriere – not generosity: interest is the engine of hospitality

Dear AldoπŸ‡§πŸ‡·
Assuming that a historic world ranking of the most virtuous nations in terms of welcoming migrants could be established, where would Italy be? I insist on β€œhistory” because there have always been, are and always will be migrants. It is undeniable that the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and others have welcomed migrants for non-humanitarian reasons. The fact is that when a nation welcomes, it is also for humanitarian reasons. Today, like today, perhaps it is made especially for them. In any case, I think a classification of the story should be passed on so that all the inhabitants of the earth will remember it in the future. I ask you: how to ride without fear of favoritism?
Alex Prato

dear AlexπŸ‡§πŸ‡·
I’ve never been to Australia and Canada, vast and desert countries, but I’ve flown over the United States and Mexico several times, always impressed by the immensity of the void. Today, however, the United States has a population of over 330 million. When we were kids, we learned that there were two hundred million Americans. Think about what the United States was like where our ancestors landed in the late 19th century. A virtually uninhabited continent. The white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant elite desperately needed Latin American workers, but also Slavs, Irish, Blacks and Asians. However, the admission criteria – health, social, political – were very strict. Those deemed unfit on Ellis Island were sent back across the ocean. I remember a scene from a good film by Emanuele Crialese, Nuovomondo, with very good actresses like Isabella Ragonese and Charlotte Gainsbourg. At one point, an old Sicilian lady asks the border guard, “Who are you, Domineddio, deciding who can enter and who cannot?” “. And this, politely but firmly: “I am an employee of the United States of America. I confess to you, dear Mr. Prato, that despite my sentimentality I sympathized with the official. generosity. It has always been due to the economic needs of the host country. It shouldn’t be like this; but it was like this. And we have to tell things how they happened; not how we would like. Belgium signs an agreement with Italy: coal for workers, sometimes destined to perish in mines. The idea that every year hundreds of thousands of lives are entrusted to human smugglers who transport desperate people to a tiny island in the middle of Europe’s Mediterranean outpost is a legal and humanitarian monstrosity that must be stopped. Not repelling ships; arresting and bringing traffickers to justice. However, there will be an osmosis between Africa and Europe; Let’s make sure it’s run by democracies, not by human trafficking mafias.



“The Innocent Massacre of Castiglione di Sicilia”

Among the many massacres that took place between 1943 and 1944 at the hands of Nazi-fascists, others took place in the same years by the regular German Wehrmacht expelled by the still Anglo-American landings in fascist Italy allied with Hitler’s Germany. In particular, the massacre of 12 August 1943 in a town in eastern Sicily, Castiglione di Sicilia, in which 16 civilians died. Among them was my grandfather, my father’s father, now 94 years old and one of the last witnesses to the massacre. He was 15 years old when he was called to help his father who was shot in the face when he was in the field collecting food to take to the 6 children who were looking after him at home and who were waiting for him. Dad always wanted to remember that entire August 12 massacre that dramatically shaped his life forever. And today, unforgettable, I share this memory with emotion, always with my two sons aged 20 and 16, who, from their earliest age, saw the laurel wreath deposited in front of the commemorative plaque in the town hall square that contributes to the sounds of “Il Silenzio” the names of the 16 victims. Leonardo Sciascia spoke of the 1965 massacre with the story “The Germans in Sicily” (The Fire at Sea, Adelphi). A massacre that remained innocent and long forgotten. It took until September 16, 2002 to see the Bronze Medal of Civil Valor awarded to the citizens of Castiglione by the then President, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Also in this case – to quote Sciascia again – the ingrained rule prevailed that what happens in Sicily is something from another planet.
Antonella Crifo


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