This paper analyses the connections between the present state of malaise of European 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, culture and religion. In particular, with reference to this context, it highlights how the process of distancing from reality, so spread nowadays within society, may be connected to the supposed 'unthinkability', 'unrepresentability' and horrifying aspects of this traumatic historical event. In this sense, taking a cue from Arendt's and Levi's thoughts, the author indicates in the power of narratives and recovery of meanings a possible solution. [Publisher's text].