A Father Kolbe Failed
Father Giacinto Lagomarsino from Genoa and the Jews of Sanremo, the story by Pierluigi Casalino:
"He was not counted alive among the Righteous of the Nations, who saved Jews during the ferocious Nazi persecution, but he would deserve such a prestigious recognition".
Father Giacinto Lagomarsino da Genova, always on the inspired instruction of the unforgettable Bishop Rousset, in fact, during the dark period of the Second World War, worked to save anyone who was in danger, in particular a large number of Jews from Sanremo and the surrounding area.
It is no coincidence, however, that Sanremo and the Jews have always lived, over time, a special, open relationship based on intellectual dialogue and tolerance. Even in the difficult times of the late Middle Ages and at the dawn of the modern age, in San Remo, the Jews enjoyed protection and consideration, unless they had to endure some administrative measures in line with the general interests of the local authorities.
Palms, cedars and myrtles, but also other products were cultivated in the future City of Flowers not only for Christianity, but also for the dispersed and vast Jewish nation in Italy and Europe. Not only Pesah - the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated in April - but also the Feast of the Succoth, which is celebrated in September, saw the contribution of cedars and palms (also palm broths, which often came from neighbouring territories, such as Seborga, Bordighera and Menton, when the harvest was over); the month of July and the month of August were the months of excellence for this harvest and especially the month of August was destined to the Jews given the proximity of the Feast of the Succoth.
Commercial relations were, to a large extent, at the basis of the cohabitation between Jews and the people of San Remo, and not infrequently Jewish ceremonies were also attended, perhaps more out of curiosity, by the people of San Remo. The same Jewish kosher cuisine, so much talked about even in these days, because of the codification that the Italian Israeli communities are making of it, was practiced among the local Jews, though in constant connection with their co-religionists in France (where the rabbis set the rules ad hoc) and other Italian and European countries that frequently passed through San Remo: a healthy diet in tune with the sobriety of Ligurian cuisine itself for its traditional mix of hygiene and health.
The tragedy of the Second World War, unfortunately, caused the almost total destruction of Jewish nuclei in Alassio, Imperia, Laigueglia. A mild and generous person, was taken away in that circumstance by the SS) La Spezia, Savona: even in Sanremo, Vallecrosia, Ventimiglia, and Bordighera, however, they did not fail to witness inconceivable atrocities perpetuated against Jews; but many of them found escape thanks to the intervention of pious religious, such as Father Giacinto Lagomarsino da Genova, and private citizens who challenged the Germans even risking their lives.
The shameful martyrdom of the Jews of the West represented a significant loss for the historical heritage of this area, where Jews had already been present since pre-Roman times, writing an indelible page in the tradition of this corner of Liguria.
(source: Pierluigi Casalino)