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Gabriella Schittar receives knighthood of the Order of the Star of Italy

Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta presented today Gabriella Schittar with the decoration of Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy) on behalf of the Italian president.

On 28 April 1945, Gabriella Schittar, then aged just 17, risked her life to negotiate with a group of German soldiers who were about to execute 38 men and boys from her village, Cappella di Scorzè in the province of Venice. The soldiers claimed that the villagers were responsible for an attack on their convoy. Gabriella, who had studied in Austria and spoke German, managed to convince the soldiers that the men and boys were innocent, and in doing so she saved them from certain death. Her willingness to put her life at risk for the sake of justice and brotherhood was a demonstration of extraordinary bravery.

The ambassador said that it was a great honour for him to celebrate Gabriella Schittar’s courage and altruism, which she continues to demonstrate to this day, offering an example to us all.

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