Australian Survivors’ Association welcomes German support for Yad Vashem

February 2, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants has welcomed a German decision to fund Yad Vashem in Jerusalem to the tune of 1 million euro annually until 2021.

FM Westerwelle and Education Minister Sa'ar sign the agreement today at Yad Vashem. To the right is Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. pic: Isaac Harari

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, have signed the agreement  at Yad Vashem’s Research and Administration Building, in the presence of Hildegard Muller, Chairman of the Management board, BDEW German Association of Energy and Water Industries and the Chairperson of the Society of Friends of Yad Vashem in Germany, and Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem.

“The German government recognizes Yad Vashem as the world center for Holocaust documentation, research and education, and understands its special meaning for the Jewish people and the world at large,” said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. “This agreement strengthens the obligation of the German government and the German people regarding Holocaust remembrance.”

The funding will support the systematic location and acquisition of documents from the Holocaust at archives across the globe, as well as making them accessible; in disseminating information about the Holocaust online, including through a new German version of Yad Vashem’s website; and enrich the activities of the International School for Holocaust Studies of Yad Vashem. One milllion euro equates at time of writing to $1.23 Australian dollars

Anna Berger

AAJHSD president Anna Berger told J-Wire: “The Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants applauds the German government’s recognition of the international significance of Yad Vashem. The work of Yad Vashem in commemorations, research, education and collection of testimonies and artefacts is vital to future generations’ knowledge of the Holocaust, the greatest genocide in recorded history. The Association believes that it is only through Holocaust education that the horrors of racism and bigotry can possibly be eradicated. The German government’s decision to provide this financial backing for Yad Vashem’s vital work is most welcome.”

Melbourne-based Holocaust survivor 88-yr-old Abe Goldberg added: “This will help Yad Vashem a lot. But the Germans will never be able to repay financially what the Jewish people lost”.

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