gino bartali

Bartali the Righteous

Gino Bartali was one of the greatest post-war Italian cyclists and was the sporting rival of his friend Fausto Coppi. Bartali had a deep faith; he was a member of the Dominican Third Order, and used to say “You do good but you don’t talk about it, some medals are hung on your soul”. He risked his life to save victims of the concentration camps. Using his bicycle to conceal false documents, the champion saved eight hundred individuals. In 2013 he was recognised as “Righteous among the Nations “ by Yad Vashem.

Bartali the Righteous, confusion on the web. The reasons for historical research and the hunger for visibility

Published in Moked on 20 July 2017 – 26 תמוז 5777

“Did the great Italian cyclist Gino Bartali really save Jews during the Shoah?” The ex-director of the CDEC Foundation, Michele Sarfatti, asks this question in a text published on the website of the British Catholic weekly The Tablet.

What he says is bound to raise debate and seems to cast a shadow on the work of the Yad Vashem Committee for the Righteous, which recognised Bartali as Righteous among the Nations in 2013 and which counts among its members the distinguished demographer Sergio Della Pergola.

The text attacks Bartali and the famous Israeli Committee on the basis of a single reference: a short 1978 book by the journalist Alexander Ramati, who relates the “underground” Assisi, the clandestine network based in Assisi which offered a place of safety to many of the persecuted, especially Jews, involving – among others – Bartali himself. As those who have made a study of this affair beyond the merely superficial know, testimony to those days is fragile and not very reliable. However, since 1978 much has changed, various drawers have been opened, some witnesses who had remained in the shade have been irrefutably revealed. But the article says nothing about this, merely attacking the all-too-attackable Ramati and ignoring the significant mass of material on Bartali that was brought to the attention of the most authoritative, credible institution in the world to concern itself today with the Shoah.

For example, there is no reference to the many unpublished affairs reconstructed by the Italian Jewish newspaper Pagine Ebraiche (Hebrew Pages) over the last few years. These affairs, at first scoops that were talked of by half the world’s newspapers, soon became concrete testimony, living pages of Memory delivered to the officials of Yad Vashem and later studied in depth by various teams charged to scientifically clear the field of any possible doubt and inconsistency. On the whole story of Giorgio Goldberg, a Croatian Jew who in December 2010 told Pagine Ebraiche that he had been hidden by Bartali in a flat he owned in Florence, together with his younger sister, his cousin and his parents. “If I am alive, I owe it to Bartali”  Goldberg (who died recently) told us: a few weeks later he went to Yad Vashem with a written deposition and with various documentary evidence of this episode of courage. It was Pagine Ebraiche that launched a campaign in spring 2010 to make people aware of this little-known Bartali through new documentation. At the time absolute, irrefutable proof was missing, such as would have found all the members of the Committee in agreement.

Journalists and editors, helped – among others – by Sara Funaro, a psychologist who is now on the Florence City Council, handed on the baton to the historians and the members of the Committee.

Thanks to this effort, a gap has been closed, whatever may be said by academics eager to gain visibility even at the cost of the slapdash approach and facile appeal to the emotions prompted by the web and the social networks.

Sergio Della Pergola, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, comments:

It is sad that so excellent and respected a researcher as Michele Sarfatti should have lent himself to this plot whose basis and logic are incomprehensible. The Committee for the Righteous among the Nations of which I am a member (although I did not take part in the vote on the Bartali file because it was discussed in a sub-committee different from my own) based its judgment on a broad mass of oral and written testimonies whose reliability is beyond doubt. Two actions by Bartali were given particular attention: his role as carrier of papers important for the salvation of the Jews, delivered among others to Natan Cassuto, then Rabbi of Florence and linked to the network of Cardinal Dalla Costa; and his making his own flat available to Jews.

These facts have been proved with certainty. The defamatory action in course is unworthy of those who wish to occupy themselves seriously with the affairs of the period of the Second World War and of the Shoah.

Bartali the Righteoushttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/bartali.jpghttp://www.fraternitiesop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/bartali-150x150.jpgadminEnglishNewsSlider,
Gino Bartali was one of the greatest post-war Italian cyclists and was the sporting rival of his friend Fausto Coppi. Bartali had a deep faith; he was a member of the Dominican Third Order, and used to say “You do good but you don’t talk about it, some medals...
<em>Gino Bartali was one of the greatest post-war Italian cyclists and was the sporting rival of his friend Fausto Coppi. Bartali had a deep faith; he was a member of the Dominican Third Order, and used to say “You do good but you don’t talk about it, some medals are hung on your soul”. He risked his life to save victims of the concentration camps. Using his bicycle to conceal false documents, the champion saved eight hundred individuals. In 2013 he was recognised as “Righteous among the Nations “ by Yad Vashem.</em> Bartali the Righteous, confusion on the web. The reasons for historical research and the hunger for visibility Published in <a href="http://moked.it/blog/2017/07/21/bartali-giusto-prove-dubbi/"><em>Moked</em> on 20 July 2017 - 26 תמוז 5777</a> “Did the great Italian cyclist Gino Bartali really save Jews during the Shoah?” The ex-director of the CDEC Foundation, Michele Sarfatti, asks this question in a text published on the website of the British Catholic weekly The Tablet. What he says is bound to raise debate and seems to cast a shadow on the work of the Yad Vashem Committee for the Righteous, which recognised Bartali as Righteous among the Nations in 2013 and which counts among its members the distinguished demographer Sergio Della Pergola. The text attacks Bartali and the famous Israeli Committee on the basis of a single reference: a short 1978 book by the journalist Alexander Ramati, who relates the “underground” Assisi, the clandestine network based in Assisi which offered a place of safety to many of the persecuted, especially Jews, involving – among others – Bartali himself. As those who have made a study of this affair beyond the merely superficial know, testimony to those days is fragile and not very reliable. However, since 1978 much has changed, various drawers have been opened, some witnesses who had remained in the shade have been irrefutably revealed. But the article says nothing about this, merely attacking the all-too-attackable Ramati and ignoring the significant mass of material on Bartali that was brought to the attention of the most authoritative, credible institution in the world to concern itself today with the Shoah. For example, there is no reference to the many unpublished affairs reconstructed by the Italian Jewish newspaper Pagine Ebraiche (Hebrew Pages) over the last few years. These affairs, at first scoops that were talked of by half the world’s newspapers, soon became concrete testimony, living pages of Memory delivered to the officials of Yad Vashem and later studied in depth by various teams charged to scientifically clear the field of any possible doubt and inconsistency. On the whole story of Giorgio Goldberg, a Croatian Jew who in December 2010 told Pagine Ebraiche that he had been hidden by Bartali in a flat he owned in Florence, together with his younger sister, his cousin and his parents. “If I am alive, I owe it to Bartali”  Goldberg (who died recently) told us: a few weeks later he went to Yad Vashem with a written deposition and with various documentary evidence of this episode of courage. It was Pagine Ebraiche that launched a campaign in spring 2010 to make people aware of this little-known Bartali through new documentation. At the time absolute, irrefutable proof was missing, such as would have found all the members of the Committee in agreement. Journalists and editors, helped – among others - by Sara Funaro, a psychologist who is now on the Florence City Council, handed on the baton to the historians and the members of the Committee. Thanks to this effort, a gap has been closed, whatever may be said by academics eager to gain visibility even at the cost of the slapdash approach and facile appeal to the emotions prompted by the web and the social networks. Sergio Della Pergola, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, comments: It is sad that so excellent and respected a researcher as Michele Sarfatti should have lent himself to this plot whose basis and logic are incomprehensible. The Committee for the Righteous among the Nations of which I am a member (although I did not take part in the vote on the Bartali file because it was discussed in a sub-committee different from my own) based its judgment on a broad mass of oral and written testimonies whose reliability is beyond doubt. Two actions by Bartali were given particular attention: his role as carrier of papers important for the salvation of the Jews, delivered among others to Natan Cassuto, then Rabbi of Florence and linked to the network of Cardinal Dalla Costa; and his making his own flat available to Jews. These facts have been proved with certainty. The defamatory action in course is unworthy of those who wish to occupy themselves seriously with the affairs of the period of the Second World War and of the Shoah.

Related Post

Condividi con:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *