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Rita Prigmore

Rita Prigmore, an ethnic Sinti gypsy who survived the Nazi medical experiments, has told her story (thanks to the mediation of the community of Sant'Egidio) to students of Frosinone. Born in 1943, Rita and her twin sister Rolanda were used as human guinea pigs while just six weeks of age. They suffered incisions to the skull and other ill-treatment, from which Rolanda did not survive. The mother (sterilized along with her husband) was able to have at least Rita baptised. The child was then forced to leave school due to shooting pains in the head, fainting and sudden illnesses. Having moved to the United States, she will know the truth only as an adult. Rita - whose testimony, along with that of her mother, was recorded by Spielberg and kept in The Holocaust Memorial in Washington - never tires of telling younger people her painful experiences, warning them about the dire consequences of racism towards Gypsies and immigrants. To those who asked her if she did not have feelings of hatred or revenge, Rita Prigmore responded serenely and resolutely: "Forgive, but not forget."

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 19, 2019

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