Venice, Italy

There is a red wire joining the madness that led to the Holocaust, as well as to the Roma and Armenian genocides, to the logic of death by acts of terror that have recently bloodied Europe and the world. Because, then as now, evil is always lurking outside and inside us. You need to remain vigilant and learn to recognize it in all its forms, to keep it under control and be able to counter by doing good.

Confronted with the horror of the concentration camps, the barbarism of blind violence, the inhuman project of annihilation of individuals and peoples, we are tempted to look away, so much the pain hurts deep our hearts. But evil grows thanks to this looking the other way, because the responsibility of those who perform it adds that of those who do nothing to prevent it.

We are all called every day to make choices, small or large. We mustn’t make the mistake of thinking that it ultimately matters little whether our choices are oriented in one direction or another. The story is written by each of us, with small daily gestures that, combined with those of other men and women, can fuel hatred or indifference, or help build a present - and a future - of peace.

Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of Venice