“Dear Mayor De Angelis, I would have gladly returned to your city for the Peace Prize if in the meantime I had not known that merit was denied to one of my co-religionists, Adele di Consiglio. A lonely woman, survived the Nazi-Fascist barbarism that she annihilated his family like mine. Instead, Mussolini’s honorary citizenship was reconfirmed which still has many followers in its territory and not only but in Europe itself that has little memory “. These are the words of Edith Bruck – to whom the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella has conferred the honor of Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic – in an open letter to the mayor of Anzio (Rome), Candido De Angelis, in which he explains the reasons for his refusal of the Peace Prize. Poetess and writer, survivor of concentration camps, on February 20, 2021, Bruck received a visit from Pope Francis at her home and at the age of 90 she won the Strega Giovani 2021 Award with ‘Il pane perduto’ (La nave di Teseo). .
“I, a Holocaust survivor, who for a lifetime have written and witnessed in Italian schools, an arduous and tiring task, without hatred towards anyone, rather in the name of peace and human brotherhood, having had the visit of Pope Francis who asked me forgiveness extended to the martyr people, I owe loyalty to myself and for solidarity with Mrs. Di Consiglio (whom I do not know), I thank you but I cannot accept the Peace Prize where the active nostalgia of the most shameful era is in turmoil , indelible for those who have lived it “underlines Bruck in the letter.
“If Edith Bruck doesn’t accept our award, that we had thought with two thousand young people as we do every year, does a mortification not to me, but to our city, gold medal for civil merit, which he did not deserve “. Thus the mayor of Anzio Candido De Angelis, on the decision of Edith Bruck to refuse the Peace Prize.” Mussolini has had honorary citizenship since 1924 – adds the mayor of Anzio – Before me there were three communist mayors, two socialists, one republican, one DS and no one has ever revoked it. Indeed, this topic was never discussed in the City Council from 1946 to 2021 “.