Watch CBS News

Holocaust survivor, 89, gets police protection after receiving 200 threats a day

Holocaust survivor recounts horror of Auschwitz
92-year-old survivor spends time talking to students about horrors of the Holocaust 01:56

An 89-year-old Holocaust survivor has been assigned police protection after receiving hundreds of threats. Liliana Segre, who was sent to Auschwitz when she was 13 years old, said she has recently received anti-Semitic messages on social media. 

Segre, who lives in Italy and, as a Holocaust survivor, was honored as a "life senator," asked parliament to establish measures to combat hate, the BBC reports. Despite a lack of support from right-wing parties in Italy, the motion did pass. 

Italy will now establish a commission to combat all forms of racism and hatred or violence toward ethnic and religious groups. However, after the vote, Segre started receiving as many as 200 hate messages per day, according to the BBC.   

Liliana Segre Pamela Rovaris

Some of the threats were so serious that officials in Milan decided she needed protection. She will now be accompanied by two law enforcement officers when she goes out in public. 

The public prosecutor's office also opened an investigation into the hate messages, asking for assistance from Italy's anti-terror police.

While Segre did manage to get the motion aimed at combating hate through the Italian Senate, it was not without difficulty and some disappointment. Members of the country's nationalist party, the center-right party and far-right party all abstained from the vote, which Segre said made her feel "like a martian in the Senate."  

"I appealed to the conscience of everyone and thought that a commission against hatred as a principle would be accepted by all," she said at the time, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.