AJC Mourns Passing of Holocaust Survivor Ernst Cramer

Jan 19, 2010, 10:55 ET from American Jewish Committee

BERLIN, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC heralded the lifetime accomplishments of German-American-Jewish journalist Ernst Cramer, who died in Berlin this morning at the age of 96. Born in Augsburg and imprisoned in Buchenwald, Cramer fled Germany to the U.S., where he became an American citizen. He returned to Germany with the U.S. Army, staying on to help create a democratic press in postwar Germany.

"His death just one week before the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz represents a great loss in memory in the ever dwindling circle of Holocaust survivors," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.  "His presence was testimony to the importance of remembrance, reconciliation and partnership between Germans and Jews."

Cramer was a long-time advisor of AJC, an organization he learned about in the 1920s when an American uncle visited his family in Germany.  He guided AJC in the creation of the AJC Berlin Office in 1998, and became a steadfast member of the Advisory Board of the AJC Berlin Office/Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations, which was launched in 2002.

Cramer, Chairman of the Board of the Axel Springer Foundation, received numerous awards during his lifetime for his prescient reporting on issues of transatlantic affairs, security affairs, and German-American-Israeli relations.  AJC was honored in 2008 to create the Ernst Cramer Award for Outstanding Transatlantic Achievement.

Cramer's life and work embodied the core transatlantic values of democracy, justice and freedom of speech. His was one of the great twentieth and early twenty-first century voices on issues of global security and Jewish security.

"We have lost one of the most eloquent of witnesses to the horrors of the Nazi regime," said Deidre Berger, Director of the AJC Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations in Berlin.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee