Red Cross volunteer Alison Berglas speaks at the Italian embassy on Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Drew McNeil, Communications Volunteer

In observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the Red Cross Los Angeles Region was honored to participate at the Italian Consulate’s annual name reading event of the Jewish Italian victims of the Holocaust.

The Red Cross International Services Restoring Family Links program, which reconnects families separated by conflict, migration, or natural disaster, also assists individuals seeking information regarding family members that are deceased due to the Holocaust.

The event took place at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angles and was hosted by the Italian Consulate, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the Israeli Consulate. There was also a performance honoring the music of Jewish Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who fled fascist Italy in 1939, and whose family was in attendance.

Red Cross Volunteers Alison Berglas, Bob Rich, and Laura Mogentale attended the event meant to serve as a way to remember some of the 8,000 Jewish Italians killed during the Holocaust.

“It was our first time at this event”, explained Berglas. “The nice people were very receptive to what we do”. The volunteers set up a table and interacted with the 60-70 community members in attendance, providing information about how to initiate a Red Cross Holocaust tracing search. “Several people asked about opening a case, and one case is already at headquarters in Washington D.C.”, Berglas said. Berglas was also invited to the podium to describe the Red Cross program and participated in reading some of the names of the Jewish Italians deceased during the Holocaust.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, including the Magen David Adom in Israel, work together to track down information related to victims of the Holocaust. The Red Cross’ free program utilizes the global reach of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, as well as museums, archives, and international organizations to help find information on loved ones who have been lost. To begin a search, or for any questions on the Restoring Family Links program please call (626) 407-4536 or email


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