Friday, February 5, 2010

Silvio Berlusconi in tears over hero mother

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi was reduced to tears when Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to the Italian prime minister's mother for saving a Jewish child from arrest and deportation.

Mr Berlusconi, who was visiting Jerusalem appeared to wipe away tears when the Israeli leader recalled how Rosa Berlusconi, who died in 2008 at the age of 97, saw a German policeman trying to arrest a Jewish girl on a train in Milan.

"The Italian woman, who was then eight months pregnant, stood between the policeman and the girl. And without a grain of fear, she confronted the German policeman and said to him: 'You can kill me, but look at the faces of the people on the train, I promise you they won't let you get out alive'," Mr Netanyahu said.

"With this firm statement, the Italian woman saved the Jewish girl and lit, if only for a moment, a ray of humanistic light and bravery in the great darkness that pervaded all of Europe.

"That brave woman was named Rosa, and one of her sons is named Silvio Berlusconi, today the prime minister of Italy."

Mr Berlusconi, 73, was on a visit to Israel's parliament and listened to a translation of the speech, which was in Hebrew.

He wiped his hand across his eye and nodded in appreciation as Mr Netanyahu and Israeli MPs applauded.

"I am moved and thank the prime minister for recalling an episode involving my mother, who in that moment expressed the feelings of all Italian women," he said. (Telegraph)

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