Father Raimondo Viale
Limone Piemonte, Cuneo, Italy
|Died||25 September 1984|
"... resistance is a mature man's dowry, the man who rejects everything that is unjust, and rebels, rebels ... The Bible is full of resistance. Resistance is a sacred thing, is part of life that preserves life, and rejects everything that is contrary to human dignity and life itself " – The Just Priest'
Don Raimondo Viale ( Limone Piemonte, 1907 – 25 September 1984) was an Italian Catholic priest, whose name is entered among the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem for his work on behalf of the Jews during the Holocaust.
Raimondo Viale was born in 1907 in Limone Piemonte province of Cuneo. After being ordained a priest, he was assigned to curate in the parish of Borgo San Dalmazzo. In the 1930s, his cultural and social commitments lead him into conflict with the fascist authorities. Already a victim of intimidation and beatings, in 1940 Viale was arrested and convicted for having delivered a sermon against the entrance into the war against France. He spent 15 months in confinement at Agnone in Molise before he returned to Borgo San Dalmazzo.
Aid to Jews
On 18 September 1943 he witnessed the arrival of a thousand Jewish refugees from neighboring France through the Alps. Of the refugees, 349 of them were captured by the German military authorities at Valdieri, and were confined in a former barracks in Borgo San Dalmazzo. On the morning of 21 November 1943 the 349 prisoners begin their journey to Auschwitz (only 9 of them survived). In close touch with Don Francesco Repetto and DELASEM (Delegazione Assistenza Emigranti Ebrei - "Delegation for the Assistance of Jewish Emigrants") of Genoa, Don Viale then dedicated his life to the hundreds of Jews scattered, hiding in the valleys of Cuneo in mountain huts, materially and emotionally assisting them. Don Viale helped Jews reach Genoa where Don Repetto was able to help them escape to Switzerland.
- A square is named after him at Borgo San Dalmazzo.
- On 7 August 2000 he received the honor Righteous Among the Nations from the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem.
- He was featured as the protagonist in Nuto Revelli’s book, “The Just Priest.”
- Nuto Revelli, the priest just (Einaudi, 2004)
- Raimondo Viale – his activity to save Jews' lives during the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem website
- Israel Gutman, Bracha Rivlin, e Liliana Picciotto, I giusti d'Italia: i non-ebrei che salvarono gli ebrei, 1943-45 (Milano: Mondadori, 2006), pp. 235-36