“Sometimes, when you keep talking about things so much, they end up losing their value.”
There is a tone of resignation in Liliana Segre’s voice as she sits opposite me in her Milan living room and begins to tell her story. Do not get me wrong, her strength is palpable. She may be 89 years old, but there is a steeliness to her that defies age.
That is, perhaps, unsurprising. Most of us can never truly comprehend the horrors she experienced as a young girl in Auschwitz.
However, I get the sense that it is not the past that haunts her now but the future. Because Liliana Segre, who survived the Holocaust and has spent the past 30 years sharing her testimony, will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp under police protection because of anti-Semitic death threats against her.
Even three-quarters of a century after the end of the Holocaust, there are still those who want to take her life and have in some measure managed to curtail her freedom.
And yet, she is undeterred and continues to tell her story which, rather than losing its value, seems more valuable than ever these days.