This paper analyses the connections between the present state of malaise of Eu-ropean societies, characterised by massive expressions of hate and aggressivity toward the ‘stranger’, by phenomena of distancing from reality, and the work of memorialisation of the Shoah over the time. It questions this interconnection and the effectiveness of the memory work carried out in the last decades in order to raise citizens’s awareness about the several dynamics promoting the past and present violence against individuals of different origin, cul-ture and religion. In particular, with reference to this context, it highlights how the pro¬cess of distancing from reality, so spread nowadays within society, may be connected to the sup¬¬posed ‘unthinkability’, ‘unrepresentability’ and horrifying aspects of this traumatic his¬to¬¬¬rical event. In this sense, taking a cue from Arendt’s and Levi’s thoughts, the author in¬di¬ca¬tes in the power of narratives and recovery of meanings a possible solution.
Keywords: Society, violence, stranger, distancing from reality, memory, Shoah.