Rome has a tiny old Jewish quarter. I stumbled across it looking for somewhere to eat after arriving late Monday night for work meetings Tuesday in FAO. I picked a restaurant with most people in it as an indicator of good food. I was ushered to a table and ordered a “4 brothers” pizza. I was sitting next to an older Israeli-Italian couple and they told me about the repression of Jews in Roman history.
The couple’s description of historical antisemitism seemed remote but I was wrong. It is very much a live issue in Italy as it is in neighbouring France. The next day the local newspaper and international media described how on Sunday night Lazio fans had photoshopped the football shirt of their rivals Roma onto a picture of Anne Frank who anniversary it was. They left the photos in the stadium as an antisemitic insult to Roma fans.
The response of the Lazio President was admirable and necessary. He is flying 200 young Lazio fans to Auschwitz for an education visit.