Every year the Holocaust Remembrance Day is a precious opportunity to recall and reflect on the horrors of this page of the history. This year, Association Figli della Shoah and Fondazione Cdec [“Contemporary Jewish Documentation Centre”] have chosen to celebrate it by telling the story of one of the last Auschwitz survivors still alive: Nedo Fiano.
The paradox in Nedo’s story is that he, who had dedicated his life to remember and raise awareness on the Shoah, is now facing the loss of his memory.
But, if it is true that person’s ability to remember can be erased, never can we allow the loss of all humankind’s memory.
This is why Association Figli della Shoah, Fondazione Cdec and Havas Milan have come up with the project “Forgetting Auschwitz, remembering Auschwitz.”
The project launch involves a video shot in a tattoo parlor, where the unsuspecting protagonists show up having received an invitation to “take part in a documentary on tattoos”. Once in, though, they find themselves facing something unexpected. The tattoo draft that the artist prints on their skin is rather unusual: it is the A5405 string, Nedo’s number as an Auschwitz prisoner.
Their reactions, thoughts and deep emotion towards Nedo’s story are captured in the clip, which has been posted on the web. The clip ends with an invitation to keep Nedo’s memory alive, taking charge of his evidence personally by visiting the dedicated website www.a5405.com
The website hosts videos of hundreds of people reading and interpreting Nedo’s memories in first person, as if they were telling stories of their own past, having lived such moments themselves: it is people who have taken up Nedo’s memory.
Among such “memory keepers” are some celebrities, too; like Gad Lerner, Moni Ovadia, Ludovico Einaudi, Elda Ferri and Roberto Faenza who have decided to take part in the project.
The website is an actual archive of Nedo’s memories, made of bits of recollection taken from his videos and books. Each one tells something of his experience in concentration camps, from the entry into force of the Race Laws to the liberation of Italy. Visitors can choose to take up Nedo’s memories, too: they can use their own voice to read and record the stories on the website: a way to become Nedo and keep his evidence alive. A5405 is not only the web address, but the official hashtag of the project (#A5405), which features in the users’ reposts and inputs.
It is a project by Havas Milan, under the creative direction of Selmi Bali Barissever and Lorenzo Crespi, with the collaboration of Havas Pr, Arnold WorldWide, Indiana, Quiet Please, Uprising, Basement, Lsd and the speaker Sergio Leone for Association Figli della Shoah and Fondazione Cdec.