JERUSALEM, May 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Yossi Peled, the Israeli Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Friends of Zion Museum, has written an opinion editorial to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel:
On this Holocaust Memorial Day, I think of my family, Auschwitz survivors, and of the people who saved my life.
I was born in Belgium to Shaina and Yankle Mandelavitch. When WWII broke out, my sisters and I were given to a Christian family and adopted. That family saved my life. I am a Holocaust survivor. With the exception of my mother, my entire family perished in Auschwitz. My adoptive Catholic family did everything in their power in order to protect me, provide for me and give me as much of a decent life as possible during war times. It was the first time I had witnessed an act of heroism – a humane act done by people who chose to save the lives of others.
Today, as I have the great privilege of serving as the Israeli Chairman of the Board of Trustees in a museum portraying the works of the Righteous Among The Nations, it is for me coming full circle both personally and on a national level.
Facing the man-made horrors, the acts of madness and terror of the Holocaust, there were people who stood up to all of that, like points of light in the midst of all that darkness. The Friends of Zion Museum that opened recently in Jerusalem, a museum I am proud to serve as the Israeli Chairman of its board of trustees, conveys this precise message of hope and the ability to act against even in times of extreme difficulties. This museum is a dream, a vision-turned-reality for us – the people who wanted to cherish the Righteous Among The Nations.
In the past year, millions around the world have been exposed to the message of the Friends of Zion Museum. For us at the museum, it is an honor to commemorate those who risked their lives in order to save the lives of others.
As I stood on German soil in 1988, this time as an officer – a major-general in the Israeli army - I saluted the Israeli flag. I was thinking of my family and of my childhood as a Jewish boy. The fact that I was able to represent my people and their country filled me with pride. Being part of a museum which commemorates and immortalizes the works of those thousands of people who helped us, the Jewish people, simply stay alive, feels as if I am saluting them and perhaps more than that - it feels as if I am saluting my adoptive family.
The state of Israel is morally indebted to these lights in the darkness and holds a responsibility for the fates of Holocaust survivors. I hope we will respectfully perform those duties and care for Holocaust survivors still among us and we will somehow be able to express our feelings of gratitude to the Righteous Among The Nations and to all of those who reached out to Israel in the most harsh times and darkest periods humanity has ever known.
The Friends of Zion Museum opened in Jerusalem last September and has set itself a goal of serving as a bridge, connecting people from around the world and motivating more communities to come out in support of Israel.
The museum includes state-of-the-art exhibitions and displays, among them 3D displays and a unique audiovisual innovation developed exclusively for the museum.
The Friends of Zion Museum emphasizes the saving of Jews during the Holocaust and the contribution made by the Righteous Among The Nations. It highlights the connection to Zionism and praises the work of those who have come to the aid of the Jewish people in recent times – through the British Mandate, the Holocaust and up until the establishment of the State of Israel.
The museum is the result of the hard work of thousands of supporters of Israel from all over the world, showcasing the contribution of Israel's friends such as former US President Harry Truman, former UK Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, Prof. George Bush, who was a relative of former US President George Bush, Orde Wingate, as well as the Righteous Among The Nations – individuals such as Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg, and the ten Boom family, who risked their lives to save the lives of Jews who were being persecuted all over the world.
Museum Address: Friends of Zion Museum, 20 Yosef Rivlin Street, Jerusalem. The Museum is currently open to visitors - reservation is recommended on the Museum's website: www.fozmuseum.com or by emailing our reservation department at firstname.lastname@example.org or +972-2-532-9400.
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SOURCE Friends of Zion Museum